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I; 



THE AUTHOR 



BEN. P. FOWLKES 
P. O. Box 197, Birmingham, Ala. 

Don't read this book ('twould not be fair) 
With little thought and still less care, 
But study its signs and symbols friend — 
'Twill solve the PROBLEM in the end. 



CO-OPERATION THE 
SOLUTION OF THE 

SO-CALLED 

NEGRO PROBLEM 



BEN P. FOWLKES 

1 1 

AUTHOR 

P. O. Box 197 Birmingham, Ala. 

SOLD BY 

lohe Novelty fiooK Concern 

P. O. BOX 197 
Store Rooms lOl South Twentieth Street 
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. 



UBSARY of CONGRESS* 
i wo Copies Kecaj^eg 

CLASS. \XC (Yv. 

cop y a. 



Li8 5 



COPYRIGHT APPLIED FOR 



pre: FACE. 



In setting before you "Co-operation a Solution" the auth- 
or must state first of all that if anything good hereinafter 
mentioned is creditable to him — he feels that the most prais- 
es properly belong to Dr. 0. L. Fisher, Dr. W. R. Pettiford 
Dr. T. W. Walker, Dr. W. L. Lauderdale, Dr. A. J. Stokes, 
Rev. W. C. Owens, Hon. W. J. Echols, Prof W. C. Davis, J. O. 
Diffay and others; whom he has heard to speak along this 
line. Therefore with no prejudice in mind whatever toward 
any other race, but with a heart full of love for all humanity 
and especially that class who are struggling through adverse 
circumstances upon whom the iron wheel of oppression seems 
destined to roll; Gen. 4:13-14. (The message in the 15th verse 
of Chapter cited to some extent seems to be tabled at least 
for the time being ) He has consented to deliver the message 
incumbent upon his mind- to the thousand . Negroes who 
are thus handicapped. 

For the benefit of the persons named above and for all 
that may read this book he wishes to beg that if by perusing 
these pages you find anything herein mentioned that gives 
rise to offence, you will not place the cause to them but charge 
it to the author's incapacity and understanding and hold 
these in the highest esteem of citizenship and patriotism 

if he shall have made a mistake he wishes the finder 
to look first for his intrinsic meaning and not to his error 
through Etymology, Syntax or Prosody. 

2nd. A few personalties are used in reference to larger 
firms and Industries. These are used with all demeanor and 
candor with the sole object in view to show the Negro the 
great possibilities of co-operation. 

8rd. Feeling that moneys appropriated by Legislative as- 
semblies and millions bequeathed by Northern capitalists will 
never solve the great issue. He believes that co-operation one 
Negro with the other will solve the so-called Negro Problem. 



4th. He endeavors to pull off the mask of dishonor and 
shame which is thrown about the head of the Negro, that the 
world may see him as he is. 

5th. Harsh language, prejudice, vice and im moral phrases 
are carefully avoided. Therefore with the foregoing remarks 
in view, he begs that his people may read, study and act 
upon the suggestions herein made. 



I NTRODUCTION. 



When I say "There is no Negro Problem" I feel that I 
voice the sentiment of every intelligent man when I make 
that assertion. 

But as the entire country seems to be stirred up over the 
so-called Negro Problem, and as many have Leen bold enough 
to say that no "tangible conclusions have been reached, 
started or can be started to solve it," the author begs to 
deny the assertion, and assert a remedy when all others fail. 

1st. A true love of Christ in the heart. 

2nd. A true love for your fellowman, will solve any prob- 
lem; Matt. 22:27-29. In the time of our Savior there was 
just such a problem, as we are now struggling under, known 
as the Samaritan problem. All Judea, Israel and beyond 
Jordan could not solve this problem — Jno. 4:9. Not even the 
selected five; Jno. 4:27. But when one, "The Lion of the 
Tribe of Judea," essayed to solve the problem by pouring in 
the oil of salvation, the Samaritan Problem was no more. 

Therefore, as it seems well nigh impossible for these re- 
quisites on the part of all concerned, it appears to the author 
that co-operation on the part of one Negro with the' other and 
to Negro Industries would have much to do with the solution 
of the So-Callad Negro Problem. 

Therefore, for as much as the various Negro enterprises 
have never been set before the public systematically, forci- 
bly, alphabetically, business-like, humorously and poetically 
the author has attempted to write the required sexangu- 
lar book, feeling that some method should be used by which 
the Negro would read more of the achievements of his race 
thereby causing him to study the full meaning of the word 
"Co-operation" as Drs. Pettiford, Fisher, Walker, Owens 
and many others have been advising for the past decade. 

Feeling that co-operation would be a very important factor 
in the solution of this great so-called Problem, the author 



has undertaken to write an entire book bearing on this one 
theme — "Co-operation" 

Realizing that to push forth a book readable for all, it would 
have to be at least of a five-fold nature, as follows: 

1st. A book businesss-like enough to interest every busi- 
ness man. 

2nd. A book plain enough that those who have had no ad 
vantages of schools can understand. 

3rd. Humorous enough to cure the blues and revive the 
spirit of the most despondent. 

4th. Sensational enough to arouse the thoughtless and un- 
concerned Negro that he may arise to dare and do. 

5th. Probably a writer with more experience than himself. 

However, he prays that the Great Creator may use him in 
such way that hemay be able topush forth such book as may 
meet the warm approval of all who peruse its pages; as he 
guarantees that no pains, study or thought will be spared in 
trying to push forth an edition that will reflect credit to the 
race as well as to the author. 

He hereby begs to illustrate the meaning of a sign that at 
one time was placed on the great bridge that crosses the 
Ohio River from Cincinnati to Covington, Ky. 

"as you cross this bridge break rank" 

What can this sign mean? The authorities know that the 
simultaneous tread of a thousand footmen and the vibration 
caused by their feet-pounding down upon the gigantic iron 
structural bridge would be more likly to reduce the bridge to 
atoms than a dozen wagons and teams with their alternate 
tread. 

Well then, if the united footsteps of a thousand footmen are 
likly to reduce an iron bridge to atoms, could not the united 
head, hand and heart of a thousand Negroes, centered on build- 
ing up their own enterprises tear down the wall or partition 
known as the Negro Problem and reduce it to its lowest 
terms?. 

In setting before you co-operation as a means, he shall as- 
cend into home-made poetry and possibly a little humor 

vi 



and yet it is hoped that none of our people .will be so .vain as 
to read this book solely because of that and attach no further 
value to it, but contrawise will study its signs and symbols, 
analyze its matter and try to see it as he thinks he does. 

It is further hoped that men of more learning than himself 
will read it carefully for the criticisms which may be needed 
and if any are so found that they will be so kind as to make 
an open statement. 

He cherishes the same hope however, that Grammar, Spell- 
ing and Syntax critics may keep silent as he does not boast 
of either, but wishes to have you know that in these studies 
he stood at head of his class on conditions: that there were 
two in the class and when the other fellow did not come out 
he ascended. 

Before closingthis treaties, -he begs to sorrowfully refer to 
an incident which occured to him during the Xmas Holidays 
of 1907. 

Which jarred his dignity and pride, 

And caused his eyes to open wide; 
On Christmas day or the day before, 

While he was sitting in his store, 
Two gentlemen dressed up very neat (ly,) 

Came leisurely down South Twentieth Street; 
They must have been looking for a bar, 

Stopped at his place to get a cigar. 
Regrets and blasphemous threats were heard, 

(But he not having said a word) 
These words were uttered by the bigger, 

"We can't buy cigars from a nigger" 

Those words fell upon his ears with a dull thud or like rocks 
upon a drowing man. It is hoped that these two gentlemen 
will be in Birmingham when this book shall have been pub- 
lished and that they may out of curiosity buy one of them so 
that they may have the pleasure of seeing how their sarcastic 
jeers look and sound when changed from the language of a 
ruffian into first class poetry. 

If they will show to the author that they were laboring un- 
der the impression that he had stolen the cigars or that he 
made them himself; he is willing to call that a justifiable 

vii 



9 

homicide and restore them not confidence. If not, what then' 
However, the author feels very grateful to them, for they 
have given him an everlasting send-off and a text which he 
shall use throughout this entire discourse. 

And to his (the author's) people he begs to state that 
throughout this entire discourse he will use this word "nig- 
ger;" but he begs to assure you that in using it he shall use it 
with all the dignity, grandeur ard beauty that he, a weakling, 
can bring. 

It is hoped that no one will find any occasion of offences at 
anything hereinafter mentioned as he has no prejudice in mind 
but must insist that the entire discourse is dedicated to the 
Negro businesses, their enterprises and possibilities. Of 
course this book shall not when completed, contain all nor 
half of the Negro enterprises in Birmingham and possibly 
none outside; but is hoped that all Negroes who read this 
edition will govern themselves accordingly. 

If the sayings hereinafter mentioned meet your appro va 
he will at some future time endeavor to write a selection that 
will bring in every phase of the Negroes industry from the 
bootblack on the Street to the man behind the Counter. 

FINALE. 

I really think t'would be a shame, 

To read this book not seeing its aim; 

But study its signs and symbols, friend, 
T'will solve the problem in the end. 

Hoping that the sayings herein will meet the warm approv- 
al of all who read and praying that God may aid us in solv- 
ing the so-called Negro Problem, 

I beg to remain 

yours truly, 

Ben. P. Fowlkes. 



viii 



MRS. CARRIE A. TUGGLE 
G. W. C. of the Calanthes 
Editor and Proprietor of The Truth, the leading Negro Weekly 
Founder of the Tuggle Institute 

"Not being satisfied at gathering our women 
But from the pure milk she has now got the skimming 
She's gathered our little one?, these she styles 
Another little court, called the juveniles." 



X5he Novelty BooR Concern 

Or the Smallest BooR Store South of Ohio 

ben fowlkes, Proprietor. 

B — stands for books there is one little store, 

The. smallest one south of the Ohio, 
The writer of the book being the owner, don't doubt it 

And feeling embarrassed to say much about it 
I — being a personal friend of his 

Took up the pen and made it my biz 
Tj help my brother out of distress (P. C. B.) 

Feeling quite sure he could do the rest. 
Of Bibles and Hymn books he has quite a lot, 

And Helps on the Sunday School lessons, he's got 
If to Literary attainment you are a seeker 

He carries the Standard American Speaker, 
And to the young minister who's trying to preach 

A Clerical Library is now in your reach 
Pulpit Prayers and Platform Aids 

And other ministerial grades. 
The Life and Epistles of the Apostle St. Paul 

And a number of others I really can't call. 
The Life of Josephus, the Life of St. John 

The Life of the Savior (in Bethlehem born) 
Unto you in the City of David, 'tis said 

And after being crucified, rose from the dead. 

Cyclopaedias of Religious Knowledge, 

(Now to master this book is a full course in college) 
If you are called to preach, make the best of it, 

For without these aids you'll make a mess of it. 

Of Pythian Knighthood h e has the histories, 

And Picture Puzzles, the book of great mysteries 

An artistic production. This book yor will find 

To read it will puzzle sour heart and your mind. 

So at any time while passing by, 



10 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLULION OF 



If you think you can read it, he'll sure let you try 
If you can't read it you 're nothing out 

But if you can read it, it's a quarter no doubt. 

Has Cushing's Parliamentary Law 

Likewise the Slow Train through Arkansas, ■ 
Has Bible Stories for the little girls 

Which show them how to be Mothers' pearls, 
The Life of John Bunyan in Bedford Jail 

You sure ought to get one, he has them for sale, 
Outline Sermons on the Testaments, 

Sold for one dollar and twenty -five cents, 
Another great book he has on his shelf 

Is Sermons by the Devil, (it may be yourself) 
Oh! get one, and read it through and through, 

It might help that out of you. 

It shows the Devil upon a perch 

And how you raise the in church 

Orange blossoms for the prospective young girl,- 

If she reads it 'twill make her some young husband's 
pearl, 

But oh! if its teaching, she passes it by, 

It shows whersthe blossom will sure fade and die. 
Keeps pens and inks and paper, too 

Just the same as other stores do, 
If you want any books that's not in his stock, 

He'll search as regular as a clock 
To find it. When found, he's up and away 

Without one minute of delay. 

If you want to laugh till it shakes your sides, 
Buy his book called Lodge Goat Rides, 

It's taken from the humors of Lodge Life 

It makes a nice present for your wife. 

Oh get one hubby for wifey to use 

When she's so mad at you she's got the blues 



THE SO-CALLED. NEGRO PROBLEM 



11 



He has a number of Fairy Tales, 

All are counted among his sales. 
He has the Russia-Japan War, 

And Martins' Manual of Commercial Law. 
He also has The Revival in Wales 

And a gorgeous array of humorous tales. 

Listen closely my dear friend 

I hereby cheerfully recommend, 
That you concentrate your forces with him, 

For he is a young man trying to swim. 

He indeed is not so slow, 
He's proprietor of the Little Book Store. 

Don't go farther to get a book, 

Before you over his stock look 

If your wants there he can't supply, 

Like other people, he'll surely try, 
Since prohibition has killed the bars, 

Stop at his place, get a few cigars. 
If you want anything along this line, 
I hope you all will bear in mind, 
Get it from Fowlkes, he is a Nigger, 

We'll make him build a store that's bigger. 

Respectfully — Susie Washington. 



Union Central Relief Association. 



A — stands for Associations, The Central Relief, 

The oldest and best is my honest belief; 
She has stood the test for many a year, 

She has thousands of members both far and near. 
I was here when first she started out, 

And Tobiahs and Sanballats stood all about 
Poking fun and prophecy in g, » 

But she has proved that they all were lyeing. 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Over her head they could put no halter 

Firmer than all of the rocks of Gibraltar; 

Standing erect without a flaw 

The Tobiahs and Sanballats forced her in law, 

Planking one thousand dollars down — 

Hoping by this she'd have to leave town. 

But no, The Central got on to their run 

And planked down a thousand as they had done. 
Oh, I think she needs a compliment; 

For T. W. Walker is president. 
I do not think it at all out of place 

To say the following to the men of my race: 

( You see the hardships The Central has had 

But her utter triumph should make us all glad. 

Start out now and begin to talk 

In every way, in every walk; 

Do every single thing you can 

To patronize a Negro man. 

The Central Relief Association 

Is master of the situation. 
She pays her claims as they fall due 

As well as other Associations do. 

She's under first-class management; 

And J. M. King's vice-president. 
Their business grew at such a rate 

They were forced into another state. 
If everything's true which the papers tell, 

Their work over there is doing well. 

Indeed she's an extraordinary * * * 

Mr. Hampton Strawbridge, the secretary 

Transacts their business up-to-date 

In Alabama and the other State. 



THE SO-CALLED 1NTEGRO PROBLEM 



13 



I asked Mr. King in a very pleasant way: 

Say, "How many men do you work every day?" 

And at his rep]y sir, I simply wondered, 

Said he, "We work between two and three hundred." 

I hope every Negro will see the point 

And come together and form a joint 
Committee, of themselves at once and be wise 

And build up your race's enterprise. 

Credit again to the President, 

Who so much time and labor have spent; 
To bring the business where it is, 

He doubtless must have known his biz. 

Many a heart has been made glad, 

Which would have been weary, despondent and sad 
Had it not been for their co-operation, 

With the Union Central Association. 

Don't be found from your enterprise straying, 

Don't be found with your enterprise playing; 

For every sentence or phrase in this book, 

Means business on every page you look. 

The Central Relief has stood the test 

Some twenty years, she's the oldest and best; 
A wonderful establishment, 

With T. W. Walker as President. 

So carry a ten cent policy friend, 

'Twill doubly pay you in the end; 
It's an excellent chance to lay away 

A dollar for a rainy day. 

The reason so many people cry, 

When their husbands and daughters die, 
It's certainly true (while it may seem funny,) 

To bury them when they haven't the money. 



14 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



So take them the fragments— let nothing be lost, 
We'll form a unit whatever the cost; 

Oh, ye children of men be wise, 

Build up your own Race Enterprise. 

It is said, that, in unity there is strength, 

So do not coil up, but pull full length; 

Take my advices, or at least some of them, 

They'll aid us in solving the Negro Problem. 



Artists— D. J. McCaw 

A — stands for Artist, there's D. J. McCaw, 

Who having complied with tne requirements of law 

Is found at 217 North Eighteenth Street. 

His parlors are spacious, cozy and neat; 

His work is first-class in every way, 

And opened for business every day; 

You may find larger parlors by gadding around, 
But work any better is hard to be found; 

I appeal to you, as a race-loving man, 

Give D. J. McCaw all the work that you can. 

I'm sorry to state that one of the firm, 

J. N. Byrd was called in the midst of his term 
From the fields of labor to reward 

To be forever in the presence of God. 
No may God comfort his children and wife, 

Whom he cherished and idolized during his life. 
Oh, may we like Byrd, when life's race is run 

Be accorded the welcome, "Thy work is well done." 

So Mr. McCaw is left all alone, 

As hy the foregoing I've plainly shown; 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



15 



Now all the special friends of Byrds 

Will please be governed by the following words: 
I think it better far by half 

That a Negro take your photograph; 
He enlarges your photo and frames it too, 

The same as other photographers do. 

I really can't see the reason why 

So many Negroes pass him by; 
His place is open from year to year. 

Works cloudy weather as well as clear; 
No matter how the weather is, 

It never does off-set his biz. 

A brand new thing he now has done — 

(And I'm not merely poking fun;) 
That's something simply out of sight, 

He takes your photograph at night. 

It's true his walls aren't ivory decked, 

But what more friends can you expect? 

When you pass by the Negro's place 
And patronize some other race. 

Co-operation is the ban of trade, 

If with the Negro is not made; 
Now to the friends of Mr. McCaw, 

I firmly hope you '11 make it a law 
That, "God being my helper as far as I can, 

I'll patronize a Negro man." 



Keystone Cafe 

C— stands for Cafes, we have a good many; 

But the ones I shall name are as good as any 
In any city, parish or town. 

Though you start at Chicago and come on down. 



16 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I beg to mention the Keystone Cafe. 

Which is always open both night and day ; 
Mrs. Harris is the sole controller, 

But better known as the hungry consoler; 
To find a better — no, no niver, 

On neither side of the Ohio River. 

They furnish you meals by day or week, 

Or any way you wish to seek; 
On dishes, waiter or on a dish, 

Or any way your heart can wish; 
When to this place you once turn in, 

You'll find things kept neat like a pin. 

Their waiters with white jackets on 

Are a beauteous sight to look upon, 

Neat in every walk and border; 

Sit down then and give your order. 

I'll now relate their Bill of Fare 

Of the things they had when I was there. 

Potatoes — sweet and irish too, 

Pork and beans and oyster stew; 
Apple dumplings made in a pan, 

There's no better in the land. 
I think they had some quail on toast, 

But I'm sure they had that nice beef roast 
That makes the feeble all the stronger, 

And sigh because their throat's not longer. 

Coffee, milk, likewise iced teas, 

They had nice home-grown English peas; 
They served you ham , they served you eggs 

And the little spring chicken with yarlow legs, 

I would not like the job to look 

Throughout the State for a better cook; 
To find a better I fear I can't, 



EEV. T. W. WALKER, D. D. 
Pastor Shiloh Baptist Church 
Birmingham, Ala. 

President and founder Union Central Relief Association, the greatest institution 
of its kind in existence. 

''Pressing forward with a vim 
Looking steadfastly to Him 
Fearing not earth's feeble fcei 
Thus he conquers as he goes." 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



17 



Than is found at the Keystone Restaurant; 
Everything is kept so neat 

At two-thirteen North Eighteenth Street- 

There's one thing more I wish to tell, 

This lady runs a nice hotel — 
Equipped in all the modern style, 

To find a better means many a mile; 
An ideal place for transients indeed, 

Why the Keystone Hotel takes the lead.. 



Peoples Drug Store 



D— stands for Drug Stores, we have three or four; 

And the prospects are bright that we'll have a few 
more. 

Now to name them in order, according to size; 

The first one on docket is I. B. Kigh's. 
To make it plainer that you all may know; 

It's better known as the Peoples Drug Store. 

When they were on Third and Eighteenth Street 

I thought while there they were hard to beat. 

Bat Sir, their business grew and grew 

'Till it shoved them on Third Avenue, 

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets between; 
Their number is seventeen-seventeen. 

They're fixed-up, simply "out of sight;" 

In every corner is a 'lectric light; 
Terra Cotta at the door 

And fine linoleum decks the floor. 
To everyone who passes by 

This store will dazzle every eye. 



18 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



The interior fixtures of the store 

Reminds one of the great rainbow 

That God held out to show a man, 

There'll be no more floods in the land. 

Its wonders all I cannot count; 

But I must bring in their soda fount, 
It stands ten feet above the floor; 

And every word I say is so. 
The frame work is mahogany made 

The counter is of marble laid; 
The best place in town, I think, 

To go and get a nice, cold drink. 
A better fount will not be found 

In any city, state or town 
No matter what may be the size — 

Than the soda fount at I. B. Kigh's. 

What more pleasure's there in the world 

For a nice young man to take his girl 
And walk right up most gracefully 

And be seated in the balcony; 
To go up there that's not all, 

But ring the bell and make the call, 
Anon, will come a waiter or two 

And take your order and wait on you 
With anything you wish to take; 

An ice cream soda or milk shake. 

Ice cream straight, or a straight soda, 

A lemon punch, or a coca cola; 
We'll take a walk, now, through the store; 

Think I can show you something more; 
On either side the walls abound 

With nice show cases all around. 
These cases are not filled with air 

But as many goods as they can bear. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



19 



Oh, I know you're loud but you'll be louder 

If you'll soothe your skin with his talcum powder.) 

Toilet articles and perfumes, 

Souvenirs and silver spoons, 

Silver forks and silver knives, 

And gold spectacles for your eyes. 

"'Drug Store!" "A Negro running one!" 

Is there really nothing new under the sun? 
We point with pride to the Peoples Drug Store; 

And beg and advise our people to go 
When you need anything I herein mention 

It's these you get polite attention. 

Go there and get your prescription filled; 

If you ha'nt got the money you can have it billed; 
But as soon as you get a nickle in hand 

You go right back and pay that man. 
Prescriptions are carefully compounded there. 

Has no superior anywhere. 
I think it quite a credit brings 

On any Negro who can do such things. 

Now, I'm not gointer 'spute what Solomon says; 

But if he was a livin nowadays 
I think he'd say, "I only meant fun 

When I said there is nothing new under the sun." 
And we all think it an awful thing 

For your prescription not to bring 
To the mammoth drug store of the race 

But hobble to some other place. 
If all the people there would go 

He'd rise in size to The Little Book Store. 
And more than this, he soon would rise 

To Jacobs Pharmacy in size. 



20 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Peoples Guarantee Loan and Trust Co, 

B — stands for Banks they have so multiplied 

That we now have a new one on the Southside; 

Their place of business you will find, * 

Just across the Sea Board Air Line; 

For fear their address is not complete, 

Say one-ought-one South Twentieth Street. 

The Peoples Guarantee Loan and Trust Co., 

Has a man behind it who is not slow; 
Mr. S. W. Wigging is his name, 

Who is rapidly pushing his fame; 
They've not been so long started out, 

But their success you need not doubt; 
They've a first-class Board of Management, 

Mr. S. W. Wiggins is President. 

They lend you money and borrow it too, 

And pay you interest when it is due; 
If you want money to build you a home, 

They ever stand ready to make you a loan ; 
If you want money on any occasion, 

They're ready to lend it with no hesitation. 

There's one thing about them I can't understand, 

That's how they can sell you the house and the land 
And let you pay them just as you please 

And take the cathartic with so much ease. 
The welfare of the race depends 

Upon the co-operation of its friends; 
I guess you can read between a line, 

If not, you surely must be blind. 

Bring it in; I mean your money, 

It's a good motto; there's nothing funny. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



•21 



So bring it in as fast as you can, 

We'll strive to raise up the Colored man; 
Money placed in these folks vault, 

Will never yield to the blowers' assault. 
Indeed it is a thing of beauty 

For every man to do his duty; 
Take my advice; they all are niggers, 

We'll make'em tell it .with seven Aggers. 



Mitchell's Cafe 

C — stands for cafe; there's Mitchell's Place 
Especially prepared for the Negr race; 

This one gentleman owns the ground 

On which his Cafe may be found. 

Now, poets may lie — but I'll be true, 
It's found on Second Avenue. 

Their number I've not yet found out; 

But it's seventeen-thirteen or thereabout 
This man being a friend of mine, 

I thought I'd better drop a line 
That when you're hungry you might know 

The best place in the town to go. 

I shall not tell you all I can; 

But it's run on the European plan. 
Now the last time sir, when I was there 

I'll name in part their bill of fare. 

Mutton, lamb chops, gravy dripping, 

Pork chops, Ham and the little Spring chicken, 
Light bread, corn bread and biscuit too, 

Back-bone, macaroni and spare-rib stew 
Oysters served in any style; 

Short orders in a little while. 



9 



CO OPERATION THE SOLULION OF 



English peas and turnip greens, 

Bacon, steak and pork and beans, 

Chicken pie and apple pie; 

I can't name all e'en though I try; 

Hot waffles, cakes and syrup too, 

I most forgot, they'd oyster-stew. 

They had ice cream and lemonade; 

And cake, by their chief baker made. 
Indeed it is a pleasing sight 

To see those waiters all in white, 
With collars white as driven snow 

And thus they meet you at the door. 
They'll then conduct you to a seat 

And find out what you'll have to eat. 

No matter what your order is 

Those people down their know their biz. 
Now, every Negro who wants a lunch 

Go single-file or in a bunch, 
Go leisurely or in a race 

But do not pass by Mitchell's Place. 



Restaurant— P. Phillips 



R— stands for Restaurant, there's Phillips' Place, 

Another credit to the Negro race, 
A neat and spacious restaurant 

To find a better I know you can't. 
Of nice large tables they have four, 

And table linen as white as snow 
And silverware of the finest grade, 

1 think they were in Sheffield made. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



The waiters are polite to you 

They're found on Second Avenue, 
Their number is fifteen twenty four, 

Oh! It's the best place in town to go. 
If I lived down on Sixteenth Street, 
I'd never go elsewhere to eat. 

Their tables with pure food abound, 

A better place cannot be found; 
The other day when I was there, 

I now relate the Bill of Fare: 
"Coffee, milk and nice iced teas, 

Cabbage and new English peas; 
Irish potatoes, ham and steaks, 

And a gorgeous array of different cakes. 
Eggs and roast and snap bears too, 

They had macaroni and oyster stew; 
They had pork chops and nice spring chicken 

Seasoned so nice, with the gravey dripping; 
Corn bread, waffles and biscuits too, 

All ready waiting there for you. 

I point with pride fo Phillips' Place, 

I solemnly enjoin upon our race; 
"You cannot do a thing that's bigger, 

Than take your meals all with a nigger. " 
If you do this they soon would swell 

Commensurate with the Hillman Hotel; 
Wherever a Negro's business is, 

Indeed it truly is your biz 
To help your striving brother rise, 

And thus sustain their enterprise. 

Oh, cease to pass by Phillips' Place; 

I mean the men of my own race. 
So go no further and make your stops 

At these little hand-out eating shops. 



24 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



To stop at such places and eat to your fill, 

The next on order is a doctor's bill; 
The next sad stage I will not tell, 

But it's a place that all our children can spell. 
I point with pride to Phillips' Place, 

It reflects great credit to a man of our race; 
Now the power is vested in you and I 

To make times better for us all by and by. 

So heed this message in all its simplicity, 
The thing will "work like electricity; 

So stand steadfast, work faithfully 

And great in the end your reward will be. 



Garner Transfer Co. 



T — stands for Transfer; there's Garner & Co. 

An ideal company. This I know 
From an actual knowledge. Of all the rest 

The Garner Transfer Company's best. 
No work is so heavy that they cannot manage 

By way of charges to give you advantage. 
No matter how light or how heavy the load 

Their horses know not how to balk on the road. 

They take so much care in loading their dray 

And even take more in driving away; 
Although it be raining or sleeting or snowing, 

They slowly move onward to where you are going. 
You do not have to leave your home 

But 'phone for them, and they will come 
Right away and take your order. 

For single loads they charge a quarter. 



E. A. BROWN 
Attorney at Law, Birmingham, Ala. 
Grand Attorney for K. of P. State of Alabama 
An Ideal Business Man 



THE SO-GALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



25 



This does not apply to household stuff; 

Of course, you know that's not enough. 
How the difference? I'd have you see 

For household stuff they guarantee 
To deliver your goods in first-class order 

And they can't afford this for a quarter. 
You '11 find the Garner Transfer Co. 

On the Southside I'd have you know. 
There's no other transfer on their beat 

At one-twenty-one South Twenty-first Street. 

As ideal draymen they stand alone 

Using the reliable Bell Telephone. 
Call them early or call them late; 

Phone number thirteen-twenty-eight. 
Now, here's my message unto you, 

Now, here's the thing I advise you to do: 
..Pass them old drays that's so much bigger 

And get some dray owned by a Nigger. 

How in the world can the Negro rise 

If you don't sustain his enterprise? 

So when we find th-3 thing that's right 

We'll do the thing with all our might. 

So friends I hope you'll catch my meaning; 

I hope to never catch you leaning 
Against the interest of your race, 

A leaning toward some other place. 



Alabama Penny Saving (Si Loan Co. 

B — stands for Banks; they should take the first place 

In the bosom and heart of the whole Colored race; 

Not those whose wealth has seven riggers, 

But those I mean which are owned by niggers. 



26 



COOPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Now the pioneer institution of this kind, 

Between Second and Third Avenues you will find; 
Two-Seventeen is their address complete, 

By simply adding North Eighteenth Street. 

The Alabama Penny Saving and Loan (Co.,) 

Is a grand institution which Negroes own: 

Not only the finance which comes in her hands, 

But they own the ground upon which she stands. 

She stands a living monument 

With W. R. Pettiford as President; 
A man who is known the whole country through 

To finish the work he once starts to do. 

The Cashier is a man of note; 

And if you doubt the things I wrote 
Ask anybody they'll tell you the same, 

Mr. B. E. Hudson is his name. 

Place money with them you've nothing to fear, 
While B. H. Hudson's their noted Cashier; 
. So save up your money — begin right away, 

T'will be your protection in the latter day. 

To save your money is a very fine motto, 

If you don't know it you surely ought to; 

Money is that gigantic power 

Which makes one laugh in peril's hour. 

Money placed into their hand, 

Is as safe as anyone in the land; 
Money placed into their vault, 

Is safe and secure from the burglar's assault. 

Oh, cease to pass them by you cranks! 

Carrying your money to other banks; 
It's a pity your race you cannot trust, 

A nigger bank never was known to bust. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



27 



They save your money and borrow it too, 

And pay you interest as other banks do; 

If I was you I'd hastily decide, 

To stand by my colors the true and the tried. 

They did not ask me to write this ode, 

Neither to help them carry their load; 
But when I saw the work they'd begun, 

I lent them some money just for fun. 
They've kept my money safe and secure, 

They'll do the same for any of you; 
It's no use in farther gadding around, 

A safer deposit will hardly be found. 

My money's told with a very few figgers, 

But I got in the race to be with the niggers; 

They have a few dimes of my money, yet 

I have had no experience or cause of regret. 

For twenty odd years she has stood the test, 

And especially the panic, like all the rest 

She stood erect in the financial jam, 

As any other bank in Birmingham. 

You've a dollar? You owe it? Invest it with them, 

And issue a check, that'll do him: 
In many cases 'tis more'n he expects, 

To know you are capable of issuing checks; 
So let us join them with all of our might, 

And if you don't do it you're long way from right. 
We'll place the Penny Bank high on our shelves, 

We'll not let them carry the load by themselves, 
But we'll shove 'em and push 'em they are all niggers, 

We'll make 'em write it with seven figgers. 



28 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Gents 9 Furnishings— Bond (%L Co. 



G — stands for Gentlemen's Furnishing store. 

There's Bond & Co. and not any more; 
Their stock is first-class, assortment complete, 

They're found at two-fifteen North Eighteenth Street. 

If all of the Negroes in this town 

Would cease meandering (around) 
A looking for some bigger store, 

Where for their money they'd get more 
And give these Negroes all their trade — 

They'd lay Sears, Roebuck in the shade. 

Todd-Smith, of Chicago, could not stand 

As the leading clothiers of the land. 
Bond could build a larger store 

With fifteen rooms upon each floor, 
Furnished so fine 'twould hurt your eye, 

And six or seven stories high. 

They'd have to hire more lab'rers too, 

Of boys and girls to wait on you. 
Now to pass them by, yourself you rob 

And your girl and boy all of a job. 

Bond & Co. keep nice hats, 

Linen collars and silk cravats; 
Shirts and shoes and silk neckties, 

As any other enterprise. 

Their cases stand against the wall, 

They have no*goods in them at all 
Such as you'll find by probeing around 

At some old cheap Jew hand-me-down. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



29 



Every word I say is so. 

Oh, Doubting Thomas arise and go. 
If you don't find things as I say 

.Nod your head and walk away. . 

Every Negro (in business) has his heart in his throat. 

He feels very doubtful about getting your support. 
If you don't support him, what shall he do? 

The Negro's business enterprise is sure to fall thro. 

These Negroes keep a first-class place — 

As any other firsfc-class race. 
Neatness in every walk and border, 

They make you suits of clothes to order. 

In overcoats they take the lead. 

You'll find there anything you need, 
In any way or any style, 

They fill your order in a little while. 

Now, co-operation has no meaning 

If against the race you continue leaning. 

If you observe what I have said, 

The whole race will be profited. 

Now, Bond & Co. keep nice scarf pins 

And many other odds and ends. 
So trade with them whatever you do; 

We cannot afford to let 'em fall through 

Now, if you want a handkerchief, 

It really is my full belief 
You should get it of Bond he is a Nigger, 

We'll make him build a store that's bigger. 



30 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Blacksmith M. W. Williams 



B — stands for blacksmith suffice it to say; 

I'll mention the one on Avenue A 
Between Twentieth and Twenty-first Street 

They do your repairing very neat(ly.) 

They have a record of shoeing a mule 

In first-class order and by the rule. 
I've known these gentlemen to shoe a colt 

. While the little fellow kicking like a thunder-bolt. 
Or jumping like the rippling of a rising tide, 

Still they'd oust the little devil every way he tried. 

So if you have a kicking horse, 

They shoe the steed whatever the cost; 
No matter how he may kick and rare, 

He'll never find a solace there. 

Call on them early, sooner or late, 

They do your repairing while you wait; 

They'll fix your buggy in first-class style, 
And you only wait a little while. 

They put tires on your wagon wheels, 

They cure corns on your horses heels; 

They make your old rig look bran new, 

Like other first-class blacksmiths do. 

Never throw your old time rig away, 

'Till you first find out what Williams say; 

I'm sure he'll fix it at a little cost, 

We should gather the fragments; let nothing be lost. 

Now what's the use of going further 
Up the road to find some other? 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



31 



Give him your work for he'd be through, 

Before you'd get where you're going to. 

I don't know what his charges is, (are) 
I really don't think that my biz; 

But it is my business to speak the right, 

And appeal to you with all my might; 

Whenever you want work neatly done, 
Mr. M. W. Williams is the one. 

(Not Far from the Little Book Store.) 



Undertakers— Bradford &, Co. 



U — stands for undertaker. There's Bradford & Co. 

There's nothing attractive in the company's store. 
When you go there you must hold to your breathe. 

The interior fixtures remind you of death. 
Job had no patience at all like this man. 

He waits 'till you do all the devilment you can; 
And whatever else in life you have done 

You are nothing to him 'till life's race is run. 
I think it quite cruel in this of my friend 

It ought to be styled an unpardonable sin 
To wait 'till you die to carry you off in 

A little black box, better known as a coffin. 

According to the custom in our land 

I hope you all will understand 
That Brakford & Co. achieveing, pursuing 

Do first-class work as others are doing — » 
They are found at one-fourteen North Seventeenth Street. 

Their outfits are perfect their fixtures complete- 
Beautiful shrouds and many a fine coffin 

I mean those little boxes that they carry you off in. 



32 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



They're finished Embalmers and Funeral Directors, 

Their work is so cheap that they need no collectors; 

For when their work they have finished for you, 
You can pay up in full with no balance due. 

A few years ago 'twas really a pity, 

Not a Negro embalmer in all of our city; 

It makes me think we're nearing our reward, 

When Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God. 

Psalms 68:31. 

We ought to feel proud we can do such things. 

Every day of our life some new message brings 
Of some great feature the Negro has done. 

There douutless is something new under the sun. 
Forty years ago when the 'Negro wore chains 

The way he is coming, Oh isn't it strange? 
Whenever a Negro starts up a thing 

We are bound to that Negro assistance to bring; 
And thus in the chorus— We help him to rise 

And build up the Negro Enterprise. 



Barbers— Diffay Bros. 



B— stands for Barbers;, so many there are, 

I feel that I can't give them justice by far; 

But having started in the work, 

I'll try my duty not to shirk; 

Tis said two brothers can't agree, 

But a great falsehood it's proven to be; 

Like other fables it has no ground, 

• For. Diffay Bros., are the talk of the town. 

Now the first one running across my mind, 
Is Diffay Bros., which you will find 

All up-to-date, and clean and neat, 

At two-twenty-four North Eighteenth Street. 



W. R. PETTIFORD, D. D. 
President Alabama Penny Saving & Loan Co. 

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



33 



I don't know how many barbers 're there, 

Nor which man occupies each chair; 
But they all concede it a great disgrace 

To wear long whiskers on your face. 
I really must mention one or two 

Of the men found there to wait on you. 
One of the men who've arose to fame, 

Mr. Aaron Thrift, Sir, is his name; 
When this place you once have spied, 

You'll find him first to the left inside. 

Mr. Thrift indeed is an ideal man, 

A rising genius with a razor in han(d); 

Mr. Thrift, I think, takes in the cash, 

But I know Thrift hates that long mustache, 

When he sees it growing all over you face 
• And you still passing by his place. 

I know you love to hear Thrift sing, 

But to give him work is a finer thing. 

The next I'll name among the lot 

Is a fellow who. himself, is hot; 
This man is in the objective case*. 

He objects to whiskers on your face. 
His name in full I've not found out, 

But before I'm through, I will no doubt. 

He handles a razor with so much ease 

In such a manner, it's bound to please; 
Any man who sits in this man's chair, 

Will always find his way back there. 
I cannot tell from whence he came, 

But Julius Peterman is his name; 
First chair to the right inside the door, 

For my friend Aaron told me so. 



34 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Oh! You hear his razor sing a song 

As he gently pulls the blade along, 
believe he's in the nominative case, 

He acts on the whiskers on your f ice; 
You need not bring to him your trouble, 

But bring them whiskers which, like stubble, 
Pain you so you can't behave 

Saying, "Look here Nigger you go shave." 

I've found out how many barbers 're there 
And which man occupies each chair; 

But to name them all as I've begun, 

And tell of their merits everyone, 

I'd have to rob Peter to pay back Paul 

And I know that would not do at all. 

So I'll name them now quite hastily, 

But not too fast for you to see. 
There's Joseph Cordial and David Reeves, 

Right hand side, your friend believes. 
Oh! I forget there is one more, 

Mr. Julius Andrews makes the four. 

I'll name those now on the left hand side, 

If not you may know I surely tried; 
There's Samuel Steel and Coleman Hawkins — 

(Of Diffay Brothers I am talking.) 
There's Riley Yowman, another one, 

And Mr. Prank Diffay, now I'm done. 
Arrayed in white these barbers stand 

With shears and razors in their hand, 
A beauteous sight indeed it is; 

They put long whiskers out of biz. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



35 



Gilmore (Si DinKins— Ice Cream Parlor 



I'm glad to say, in going around 

An ideal parlor I have found 
Transacting business I'd have you know, 

South Eighteenth Street six- hundred-four. 
Gilmore and Dinkins own this place — 

(Two prosperous men of the Negro race.) 
Their place I hereby recommend 

As a place to take your lady friend; 
Whenever you wish an evening pleasure, 

Go there on any time of leisure. 

One dozen tables in this hall, 

Some fifty chairs I 'spose in all; 
Linens and napkins clean and white; 

Lit up by electric light. 
No better place in all the beat, 

To, take the girl there for retreat. 
(I mean the best; the one you treasure,) 

When you desire an evening's pleasure. 

Large, and neat, and cool and clean, 

As any parlor ever seen; 
They keep all kinds of ice-cold drinkins 

At Wiley Gilmore and S^mon Dinkins.' 
Lemonade and ice cream too, 

And soda water to be sure; 
Their drinks are of the highest grade, 

And on their premises are made. 

Their drinks consist of wiseola, 

Peach mellow too and cocoa cola; 

Soda water straight or viva, 

And several kegs of the best of cider. 



36 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Mr. Gilmore, Manager of this place, 

Moves about with so much grace; 

There is no better place in all the world, 
Where you can safely take the girl. 

And just a word to you young men, — 

I think it a very grievious sin, 
To take your lady for a walk 

And never stop 'till you reach some park 
Or some other place of questionable fame, 

From which you get a tarnished name. 
Young man! I appeal to you 

Retrace your steps; this will not do, 
I would seek some other place, 

That has some meaning beside disgrace. 

The best place in the town (my thinkings,) 

Is Gilmore 's Place and Simon Dinkins; 

Under the rays of a 'lectric light. 

Where everything is clear and bright, 

And hear their great big graphophone, 

Then you'd be right, I'd freely own. 

If all the people in that beat, 

To this place would there retreat, 
I feel quite sure that they would rise, 

To the Novelty Book Concern in size; 
And more than that, I feel they'd grow, 

Like Warners' ice cream place and more; 
And mounting upward they would rise, 

To build a wholesale enterprise. 

I hereby wish to sound the alarm, 

Oh! Heed the call, but not to aim. 

You cannot by cohort defending, 

But by a little more mutual blending, 

Cause the world some future day, 

To look at a Nigger in another way. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



37 



Co-operation in this event 

Would loose you in astonishment; 
They'd have to build up larger quarters, 

And give more work to our sons and daughters; 
Our sons and daughters would have a place, 

That they helped build for the Negro race.' 
My advice is to the letter, 

Hold it fast and don't forget her; 
You cannot do a thing that's bigger, 

Than do your trading with a Nigger. 



A. H. Williams— The firicKmason] 



M— stands for Mason; I am glad Sir to tell, 

Of a mason who has no parallel; 
When it comes to building a beautiful wall, 

Or building, or mansion or anything at all 
Where brick and mortar must be laid, 

He lays all others in the shade. 
Sir A. H. Williams, the man I mention, 

And if you '11 only give attention, 
I'll try to make it plain to you. 

By showing what my friend can do. 

His residence of course you see, 

Eighteen-ought-eight Avenue G; 
Write him a letter to that address, 

Your work is ended; he'll do the rest. 
I guess 'twould be the safest for me, 

To mention some building which you will see; 
' Built by A. H. Williams' hand, 

A creditable thing to him they stand. 

The first of all I'd have you know, 

He built the building of the Little Book Store 
On Twentieth Street and Avenue A; 

(But the Little Book Store's gwine to move away 
To a place as soon as it's complete, 

To one-sixteen South Twentieth Street.) 



38 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



You know old Abe is getting fine, 

When he built a house for Mrs. O'Brien, 
Eleventh Avenue, South, near Seventeenth Street; 

This building's sworn to be complete. 
If he for white folks work can do, 

Why don't you let him work for you? 
A real expert Mr. Williams is, 

His works all prove that he knows his biz. 

Another job to dazzle the eyes, 

He did the stone- work at I. B. Kigh's 
Beautiful mansion on Seventeenth Street; 

This work also is complete. 
Still marching upward to the front, 

Built two nice houses for R. A. Blount, 
Grand Chancellor of the Pythian Order. 

Neat and complete in every border. 
One look at Dr. U. tr. Mason's home will tell, 

Abe Williams knows his business well. 
And knows his business by the rule, 

And what to do with a mason's tool. 

Cabinet work of the finest kind; 

In A. H. Williams you will find, 
A man prepared to satisfy, 

In anything he attempts to try; 
I hereby cheerfully recommend, 

When you want nice brick work, call my friend- 
Or a cabinet mantel in your home, 

Whenever you call him he will come; 
In all his work he guarantees 

Satisfaction and bound to please. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



39 



Campbell Bottling WorRs 

ALLEN HARRIS, PROPRIETOR 



B — stands for Bottling- Works; I am sure 

That this thing really is something new, 
At seven-ought-six North Fourteenth Street, 

A Bottling Works and all complete. 
Solomon doubtless must have been funning, , 

Or at least I think he must have been running, 
And did'nt have time to take a good view, 

Was the reason he said there was nothing new. 

If he'd come through Birmingham as he ought to, 

And see dem Niggers make soda water, 
And see the record the Negro has broken, 

He'd certainly be sorry for what he had spoken. 
The Campbell Bottling Works, I'd have you know, 

Is another plant that is not slow; 
All kinds of drinks to suit the trade, 

Right inside this Plant are made; 
Mr. Allen Harris I'm glad to say, 

Operates the machinery every day. 

Prepared indeed to take your order, 

For any kind of soda water; 
No matter what be your desire, 

They're known- to satsify the buyer. 
This Plant appeals to the grocery man, 

And not the consumer, understand; 
Before you elsewhere go and buy, 

You surely have a right to try 
Campbell's Bottling Works; if not found, 

Then to others gad around. 

We the consumers are in the rear, 

We'll follow your lead from year to year 



40 CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



As long as you lead the proper light, 

Doing just what you know to be right. 

If you don't do the thing that's wise, 
Your every step well criticise; 

Against you all these things we'll figger, 

Because you wont trade with a Nigger. 

Mr. Allen Harris, so I understand 

Introduced a new drink in this land; 
It's something simply out of sight — 

Well beaded, red and sparkling bright, 
In a great big bottle — .bout a pint I think, 

But I know it is an excellent drink. 
I asked him something concerning its grade, 

And whether domestic or foreign made? 
And whether he got it from some one else, 

Or whether he made this thing himself? 

Said he, Mr. Fowlkes it grieves me so, 

To be informed that you don't know 
That I am "he:" indeed I am, 

That brought Peach Mellow to Birmingham. 
This plant is open every day; 

They operate their own big dray, 
Ready to take and deliver your order, 

For any kind of Soda Water, 
Ice cream and similar confection, 

You've nothing to do but make a selection. 

Mr. W. N. Ross their salesman is, 

Like Stonewall Jackson, he knows his biz; 
If ever he walks into your store 

And all his samples begin to show, 
(I mean his samples of Soda Water,) 

Most likely you will give an order. 
"Oh merchant!'' I'd have you understand 

That this is a burden on your hand; 




EEV. C. M. WELLS, D. D., 
President Alabama State Sunday School Convention. 
Business Manager Alabama Publishing Board. 
An ideal business man, an eminent divine 
and a Christian gentleman. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



41 



Your Co-operation will pull him through 

And make him rise, I feel. quite sure; 

Most likely he would take the stand 

With other great plants in this land. 



Doctors Generally 

D — stands for Doctors, they've so multiplied, 

To name all their merits I have not tried; 
To complete this task I'd soon have ,the job, 

The L. & N. say train of money to rob; 
But here's my message, to it stick: 

"Call a Nigger doctor when you get sick; 
I'll name them now with common sense, 

And not according to prominence. 

Even though I have a selection, 

But in order to cast forth no reflection, 
1 really think the safest way 

Would be to start with the letter "A " 
Finding none as you will see, 

I'm forced to begin with the letter "B;" 
The first one in this class, I've foun' 

To be the Honorable A. M. Brown. 

Dr. Brown indeed is a promising man, 

Rising as fast as anyone can; 
When you get sick and call for him, 

You will not need the rest of them; 
My reason I'll now proceed to tell, 

He's known to make the sick folk well; 
They stand upon their feet like men, 

Restored to perfect health again. 
An ideal man in an ideal place, 

Dr. Brown is a credit to the Negro race. 



42 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



The next I'll name among this line, 

Is a doctor who's exceeding fine; 

His name of course begins with "B" — 
It's T. H. Brandon, don't you see? 

But since Dr. Brandan's gone away, 

I'll name his merits another day. 

The next one now in order is, 

Dr. W. L. Council, who knows his biz; 
When you are sick, I recommend 

The forenamed doctor, he's your friend; 
If you this Doctor's remedy try, - 

The chances are that you '11 not die. 
But wait a long time before yoa go 

To that dark mansion down below. 

The next man coming into view, 

Is an expert Doctor to be sure- 
The letter ' 'F' ' begins the same, 

Dr. M H. Freeman is his name. 
I have a right to let you know, 

He is very close to the Little Book Store, 
Doing business every day, 

Twenty-ought-five Avenue A. 

Your trouble may be Dame LaGrippe, 
Or shooting pain in side or hip, 

Or roaring sensations in the head, 

With chills or fever confined to bed; 

No matter what may be your ill, 

It vanishes by Freman's skill. 

The next two now I 'd have you see, 

Fall in line with the letter "G;" 

Indeed the two are well worth knowin', 

They're Doctors J. B., and L. U. Goin; 

Indeed they are fixed up very neat, 

Two-seventeen North Eighteenth Street. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



43 



When pneumonia pains are in your breast, 

And tuberculosis in your chest, 
And swelling's setting in every limb, 

If this is your malady call on them; 
They disappear and all the same 

As melting wax before a flame. 

The next man now I'd have you see 

Is DoctorlB. E. Huckabee, 
A man who's known bpth far and wide, 

A. man to whom we point with pride; 
A man doing business this I know, 

And having patients by the score; 
No matter what is their disease, 

Huckabee's skill will bring them ease. 
When grim diphtheria has you tied, 

All remedies fail that you have tried, 
This malady bows immediately 

To Doctor B. E. Huckabee: 
His office is open every day, 

At twenty-ought three Avenue A. 

The next in regular order, is 

A Medicine Doctor who knows his biz; 
The one referred to is U. G, Mason. — 

Having mentioned his merits in another station, 
I'll not say anything at all about him, 

But turn my 'tention to the rest of them. 

T. Under this letter we have two others, 

They are better known as Thomas Brothers; 
J. T. and A. E. Thomas I say, 

Are becoming more prominent every day. 
When chronic diseasee develope in you, 

The people all say the best thing to do 
Is pass on gently by the others, 

Until you get to the Thomas brothers. 



44 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



When chronic catarrh and indigestion 

Follow you in rapid succession, 
Or any other chronic trouble, 

They're to these ills what fire's to stubble. 

If no mistake, I've named them all; 

When you are sick, if these you'd call, 
I'd point to this with great delight, 

And say the Nigger was doing right. 
I beg again that you understand, 

We've Nigger doctors in our land 
Who've ascended as high in the medical fame, 

As any nation you might name; 
Who're just as well prepared you see, 

To write prescriptions for you and me, 
As any one you'll chance to find, 

In any nation, class or kind. 

Heed my motto, to it stick: — 

Call a Nigger doctor when you get sick. 
They can guess I feel quite sure, 

As well as any about your cure; 
If you'll accept what I have said, 

I know you will be profited. 

Picnic and Pleasure Wagon 

ED. CUMMINGS y 

In speaking of this I have no sadness; 

But with a heart quite full of gladness, 
I'm glad to say 'tis my delight, 

And really think I have a right, 
To tell you how I feel about 

Picnic wagons when you go out. 
Of course we can ride on the cars, 

But just think of the boldts and bars; 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



45 



I'd tell you, but I think you know 

The hardships which we undergo; 

Now here's the key-note of my su minings: 

When you want an outing, call Edd Cnmmings. 

You do not have to leave your home, 

But call him o'er Peoples telephone, 
Number twenty-ninety-five; 

In a very short time he will arrive, 
And take you in his : bus away, 

To any place that you might say; 
Let your numcer be great or small, 

He's well prepared to bake them all. 

Mary, and Willie, and Susie and Fannie, 

Maria, and Johnnie, and Hattie and Annie, 
Julia, and Bertha, and Robert and Jim, 

And Sarah and all the rest of them; 
Mamma, and papa and Uncle Ned, 

Aunt Caroline and Cousin Edd, 
And Grandma 'Llizabeth Susan Ann, 

Can go at one load with this man. 

If no mistake, there're twenty souls 

Which this picnic wagon holds, 
And more than that I'd have you know, 

He hauls everyone that wishes to go. 
This is the season that we all treasure, 

And we are bent on trips of pleasure; 
And here's one thing I wish to brag on, 

Is Mr. Cummings' picnic wagon; 
When you want outing day and night, 

Call Edd Cummings, you'll do vvhat's right. 
Of nice hacks, he has two or three, 

All kept as clean as clean can be; 
Horses kept in beautiful trim — 

"A creditable thing indeed for him.' 



46 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLULION OF 



Whenever you wish a pleasure trip, 

I hope you'll not let this thing slip; 

But first of all try my friend £ 'Edd," 
I think you will be profited. 

Co-operation with this man, 

Would pull him through to beat the ban. ' 
And cause his business place to grow, 

Something like the Little Book Store. 
Bounding onward he could run 

A successful race with anyone; 
And pressing forward he would rise, 

To the Birmingham Transfer Co., in size. 



C. H. FowlKes, Plasterer 



I take the honor of mentioning the name 

Of a Plasterer of wondrous fame; 
A man who stands above them all, 

In sticking plaster on your wall; 
Mr. C. H. Fowlkes I introduce to you, 

Is known the entire country through; 
As a plasterer, I am glad to tell, 

He stands without parallel.. 

To name all the jobs that he has done, 

And count them to you starting at one, 
I think 'twould pay me better to try 

To find a snowball in July. 
He answers to calls all over the State, 

And city and county; I wish to relate 
That anyone calling on this my frien' 

They'll certainly call him back again. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



47 



His work stands open for your inspection, 

For your approval or your correction; 
If you approve, tell others so; 

If disapproved, just let him know. 
When you want plaster on the walls 

Of parlors, kitchens, pantries or halls, 
You'll call Mr. C. H. Fowlkes; he is 

A real expert in the plaster biz. 

In stucco work and pebble dashing, 

He does this work like lightning flashing; 
Plastering done by this man's hands, 
A monument to him it stands; 
By close inspection it is found, 

To be as white as thistle down. 

Whenever you want work of this kind, 
In C. H. Fowlkes Sir, you will find 
A man doing business to the letter; 

You'll riot find one to do it better. 
In all his work he guarantees 

Satisfaction and to please; 
He, of course I'd have you know, 

Is always found at the Little Book Store 
At two-sixteen South Twentieth Street, 

Where he is fixed up very neat. 



Windham Coal Co. 



"C" stands for coal — there's Windham Brothers, 
Who are in the race with all the others, 

Handling as much as any one, 
Retail business or by the ton. 

'Twould speak real well for the negro race 
To get their coal from Windham's Place. 



48 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



They've been in our city a year or so 

You count their customers by the score. 

They're rising at a rapid rate, 

Transacting their business up-to-date, 

In pleasing way and hard to beat 
At 508 South Twentieth street. 

They're exclusive dealers of this town, 

Their yard on Avenue E is found. 
You'll make their address more complete 

By simply adding Thirty-third street; 
Located here a number of days, 

Operating a number of drays; 
Handling the best of goods (I'm told) 

In their line that ever was sold. 

Their yard is fixed up very fine; 

Bell phone Twenty-three ninety-nine. 
There's no better time than now to begin 

To turn your winter orders in. 
Indeed, it would be very cruel 

To pass Windham's place for tiel, 
Going farther up the road 

And pay more money for a smuutr load. 

Listen now to what I say, 

This firm deals in Galloway, 
Carbon Hill and Cahaba, too. 

(The best in the city to be sure.) 
I pint to this great firm with pleasure 

In buying their goods you get good measure 
In anything you wish to buy 

In brick or lime or sand, said I. 



MRS. M. V. WITHERS 
Principal Withers Normal and Industrial University, W. Woodlawn, Al 
This school is an ideal one in an ideal place and under excellent 
management. The principal is an able one. All parents 
throughout the State would do well to send their 
children here. See Withers University 
in contents 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



As coal dealers I know no others 

To recommend but Wnidham Brothers. 
If instruction you will head, 

They'll be your friend in time of need. 
I remember in the winter past 

When snow and sleet were falling fast; 
AVhen water on a stove would freeze 

Because of Winter's chilling breeze. 

Sheets of ice all over the ground 

(A dangerous time for walking 'round;) 
Icicles hanging in the trees, 

The temperature at two degrees 
(And the ground all covered with snow), 

Windham looking out his door 
Had great compassion on the poor 

People of his much-loved race, 
And to his driver he said, "make haste" 

And fling a load upon your dray, 
Not to sell — but give away, 

To the poorer people of my race. 
These things were done with greatest grace. 

If you will show me any other 

Who've been a friend like Windham Brothers, 
My reply would be to you : 

Get some coal from that firm, too. 
But no; there are not any others 

Who've done the work of Windham Brothers. 
So since besides them there are none 

Who've given our poor a single ton 
Of coal — I think we have a right 

To pull for windham with all our might. 



50 



CO OPERATION THE SOLULION OF 



Co-operation in this case 

Would make these brothers change their place; 
Their business would progress so fine, 

They'd operate their own coal mine. 
(And according to the way I figger) 

They'd give more work to many a ''nigger." 
Here's my message unto you, 

Pouring from a heart that's true, 
Pass on, gently, by all others, 

And get your coal from Windham Brothers. 



W. L,. McLinney 

Paper Hanger and Interior Decorator 



"P" stands for papering hung on the wall 

Of bed rooms, pantry or parlor or hall. 
I take great pleasure in naming to you 

A man often tried, but found honest and true. 
Less you forget, it's W. E. McLinney. 

I choose this man from among the many 
Of those other fellows who apply for your job 

With no other intent except for to rob. 

If ther's any premium to be had for neatness 

And pushing a work in haste to completeness. 
No matter how much gain there was in it 

Mr. W. E. McEinney would sure win it. 
He has a record of papering walls 

In bed rooms and parlors and pantries and halls ; 
And thus, from smeared rooms, remove all the dizziness. 

As a wall paper man, old Mc. knows his business. 



I went to Bradford's place one day 
(The undertaker, I mean to say.) 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



But I am sorry to say, I never did see 

Anything there attractive to me, 
But when I walked into that hall 

And saw that paper on the wall, 
Placed up there by this, my frien, 

I forgot the place that I was in. 
A beautiful job, indeed it is; 

I tell you old Mc. knows his biz. 

Another job, the sad heart will gladden, 

He did for my friend, Mrs. Sophia McSpaddan 
In workmanship and in design; 

They both were done exceedingly fine. 
When McSpaddan came home that night 

And found things fixed so clean and bright 
One time in his life he pulled off his hat, 

For he could not tell where he was at. 

Mrs. Flora Foster, another friend ; 

See her home, I recommend 
If you would have a perfect view 

Of what my friend McLinney can do. 
When home at night came Mr. Foster : 

Flora ! Flora ! he did accost her, 
Tell me now ! and tell me all — 

Who placed this paper on the wall? 
Flora answered in a very nice- tone, 

Why Gene ! of course, I'm glad to own 
Mr. W. E. McLinney is the one 

By whom I had this nice work done. 
Whim ! down in the chair he sat, 

Puzzled to know just where he was at. 
What do I mean by so much writing? 

What is my aim through prolonged writing? 
I want you to see the niggers' biz 



52 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Important as any one else's is ; 
Now when it comes to papering walls, 

Whether in churches, school houses or halls, 
Let Mac fix it, he's a nigger 

We'll help him make his business bigger. 



Echols (El Strong- UndertaKers 



"U" stands for Undertakers; there's Echols & Strong. 

Oh, how I love to sing the song 
Of a firm that's known both far and wide ; 

A a firm to which we point with pride. 
They accord you polite and courteous attention 

In ways to numerous to mention. 
Indeed, they are easy to satisfy; 

They never bother till some one die; 
And then they take a peculiar choice, 

They only want you in the passive voice. 

I've learned to be content, said the Apostle Paul, 

With things and conditions wherever I call. 
On perfect contentment, Brother Paul isn't in it; 

If he ran against Echols, brother Paul couldn't win it. 
No difference with Echols, wherever you've been 

How crooked your life or how many your sins. 
Though wicked may be the seed you've sown 

You are nothing to them till your spirit has flown. 
And even then they don't come very often; 

They only come once and bring you a coffin. 

"'Tis said," a little nonsense now and then 

Is relished by the best of men. 
Now, 'less you see no farther'n that 

I speck I'd better tell you just where I'm at. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 53 



Funeral Directors, they are, indeed; 

All others follow where they lead. 
Except you speak of xtortious prices 

In these they follow during the crisis. 
They are also finished embalmers, too, 

Doing first-class work as other do. 
They have as neat a parlor place 

As any one of any race. 
So my advice would be, to stop 

And leave your trouble at Echols' shop. 

They bury most of the K. of P.'s 

And quite a number of the F. E. T.'s ; 
They bury most of the Mysterious Ten's 

And the Gallilean Fishermen's ; 
Masonics, Calanthes and Household of Ruth. 

I hereby wish to impress the truth — 
Of the U. B. F's. they bury their dead. 

As Undertakers they've always lead. 
That's not all that they will do; 

They'll nicely bury your dead for you. 

They'll prepare the remains most beautiously 

| These things are done with great propriety.) 
If you don't belong to any society. 

Without one minute of delay 
They ship the remains just where you say. 

So, friend, when some of your people die 
Do not stay at home and cry. 

If you've go no money, come right along , 
And bring your troubles to Echols & Strong. 

'Twould be very cruel in Echols & Strong 
After waiting patiently all your life "long," 

And after you die 'twould be reall funny 
If they couldn't wait a little while for their money. 




54 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I hereby cheerfully recommend 

Echols & Strong, for they're my friend 
But I'm sorry to say they're very slow, 

They never want you 'til you go 
To give account for the deeds you've done, 

Of all the losses or victories won. 

But since somebody has to be slow 

I recommend Echols, to be sure. 
So if you heed what I have said 

I think you will be profited. 
I forgot to give their address to you, 

It's Nineteen Fourteen Fourth avenue. 
Your patronage will make them rise 

To Green or Gordon' s place in size. 



Beverly Dupree Carpet Cleaner 

"C" stands for Carpet Cleaner, I'm really at sea 

After I mention Mr. Beverly Dupree. 
When you need his assistance you'll kindly go * 

To the reliable barber shop known as Big Four, 
Whenever you want a carpet laid 

Or a new chair out of an old one made. 
Or when you want your carpet beat 

So as it may look clean and neat. 
When you want linoleum in your hall 

Or paper hung upon your wall. 
I here lay all the stress I can 

That Beverly Dupree is the man. 

He'll sell your matting, and carpets, too, 
And lays them on the floor for you; 

Sells chairs and household furniture, too, 
Just the same as other folks do. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



55 



It's no use, friend, to pass him by 
Going farther up the road to try 

To get the same this man has got, 

And get them cheaper, I answer "not." 

So we'll concentrate our forces with him 

And our friends, we'll tell all of them 
That when they want work neatly done 

Mr. Beverly Dupree is the one. 
He has not a telephone 

Because his place is so well known. 
For fear you do not know his beat 

Its number twenty-two S. 20th Street. 

A promising man Mr. Dupree is ; 

It's my opinion that he knows his biz. 
I hope you'll take advice of me, 

'Twill raise you up assuredly. 
So anything, sir, of this kind 

In Beverly Dupree you will find. 
A man doing business to the letter; 

A thousand miles to one that's better. 
Co-operation will bring him through 

Swift like a jumping kangaroo, 
And cause his little place to rise 

To Loveman, Joseph & Loeb in size. 



Joe Brown— Fruit Stand 

"F" stands for fruit stand. Mr. Joe Brown, 

On fruits and confections, leads the whole town. 

Of course, there are others a good deal bigger, 
But there is no other that's owned by a nigger. 

His place is kept real clean and 'neat, 
One-half block from 16th street, 



56 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Second Avenue, No. 1620, 

(I want to make this strong a plenty.) 
I declare Mr. Brown's confectionary, 

Is something extraordinary. 
We, as Negros, have a right 

To pull for Brown with all our might. 

Competition in fruit is high 

And don't you ever pass Brown by, 
Until you thoroughly search his store 

If he don't keep it — then Dago. 
This man carries a full supply 

Of everything you need to buy 
In the way of drink or confectionaries, 

First-class goods not secondaries. 

He keeps ice cream of highest grade, 
Keeps ice cold soda and lemonade 

Think he carries full cream cheese. 

I know he carries parched ground peas, 

Apples, oranges, ginger ale, 

Kept on ice and ready for sale. 

A gorgeous array of different cakes 

Of the city's very finest makes, 
National Biscuit Company's tins 

All kept full of odds and ends. 
A full supply of wafer crackers, 

Cigars, pipes and fine tobaccoes, 
Lemons, nuts and candy, too, 

Just as other fruit stands do. 

If I was going to buy my fruit 

I am sure no other place would suit 

Me half so well anywhere in town 

As the fruit stand run by Joseph Brown. 



HON. W. L. LAUDEIi DAT.E, D. D. 

President and founder of The Peoples Investment & Banking Co. and 
The Great Southern Home Industrial Association, 
two strong corporations. 

Mr. Lauderdale is a young aid prosperous man — well spoken of by all 
— a patriotic citizen and Christian gentleman. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



57 



Mr. Brown has recently opened for biz 
An ideal man my friend Brown is, 

So we will concentrate our forces with him 
We'll make him equal to any of them 

Other fellows whose stands are found 
On every corner in the town. 

I hope you can read between a line, 

Its lesson is exceedingly fine , 
If you will accept its teaching 

The effect, indeed, will be far reaching. 

So anything in fruits or confections 

Go to Brown's and make your selection. 

If you sustain this enterprise 

Like Fleischmann yeast, he'd surely rise — 

An honest heart, although a nigger, 

We can make him build a fruit stand bigger. 



West Highland Pharmacy 

I. L. DismuKes 



"P" stands for Pharmacy. Your friend understands 

That we have a brand new one on West Highlands, 
Equipped with every modern mean 

Like other pharmacies which are seen, 
As you go from place to place 

"Another credit to the Negro race;" 
The manager Mr. I. L. Dismuke is. 

It's remarkable how he transacts biz. 

This store is large and clean and neat 

It's found on Cove and College street, 
Everything kept clean and bright 



58 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Illuminated by electric light, 
Carying a full line of drug supplies 

Like any other enterprise; 
Drug supplies and toilet articles ; 

Whole goods, of course, and not mere particles. 
A full supply of paints and powder 

(Now, this you know, makes people louder.) 

They have a fountain in that store, 

An ideal fountain to be sure. 
Drinks found there, I freely own, 

Remind one of the frigid zone. 
They have a nice reception room 

It's pleasing to see how the young folks come 
From all around on Enon Ridge 

And even from across the bridge. 

They meet together, the girls and boys, 

At Dismuke's place to exchange their joys. 
Hours together they sometimes stay 

And pass the evening tide away, 
Ice cold soda and lemonade. 

No better ice cream can be made ; 
Lemon, punch, and Coco-cola, 

Strawberries and cream, or ice cream soda; 
And many others I can't count 

Are found at Dismuke's Soda Fount. 

There's a prominent doctor, I'm satisfied, 
Who's going to stand at Dismuke's side. 

He's my friend, but like St. John, 

Doesn't want his name to be looked upon, 

But it sounds like the word "Luckily," 
We— Know that Dr. ? 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



59 



Now here is the message I wish to show 
That this is a neat and first-class store. 

Go there, (in compounding medicine they are skilled) 
Take your prescriptions and have them filled 

Up-to-date and accurately 

At the West Highland Pharmacy. 

"Co-operation is my plea" 

'Twill raise you up assuredly. 
You cannot do a thing that's bigger 

Than bring your trade unto a nigger. 
By your support this store will rise 

To the Novelty Book Concern in size, 
And more than, this, a race he'd run, 

And pass by Doster-Northington. 



My Opinion of R. A. Blount 

"G" stands for Grand Chancellor, R. A. Blount, 

Of the K. of P. Lodges, he stands on the front, 

Not only the Lodges of Birmingham, 
But' of all the Lodges of Alabam'. 

He has marshalled his forces of Pythian Knights, 

Like Stonewall Jackson, he stands for their rights. 

No vale is too low, no mount is too high ; 

"There'll be no Alps," he seems to reply. 
His undaunted courage, his keen insights, 

Draw closely around him the Pythian Knights. 
He sets up new Lodges here and there ; 

A better Grand Chancellor's not found anywhere. 

Search this state over from side to side, 

No matter how long, no matter how wide, 
No matter where you chance to hunt, 



60 CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



You'll find no equal for R. A. Blount. 
Go east, go west, go north if you can, 

The country's well pleased with the work of this man. 
He presses forward with an honest desire; 

He's determined to raise the K. of P. higher. 
Oh, how absurd, how awfully strange, 

That Sir Knights would ever think of a change 
In administration and bring to the front 

A man who can cope against R. A. Blount. 
That Blount is not perfect, I freely do own, 

But if you are perfect, you cast the first stone. 
Xow if you dont cast it and show forth his sin, 

At the coming election, we'll 'lect him again. 

He solves all our problems, the answers correct; 1 

He's made a fine record, what more can you speck ; 

He's been pelted and welted and shaken like steel, 
We're going to stand by him, for truly we feel 

That we can't get a better man — (T'is our notions) 
Between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

Just search the records and see what he's done 

Since his election in nineteen and one. 
The Lodges from 40 to 260 went ; 

I figure the gain 450 per cent. 
We'll follow the man who's now at the front, 

The man I refer to, is R. A. Blount, 
Grand Chancellor of the K. of P.'s 

Who marshals their forces with so much ease. 

Since R. A. Blount's installation 

The Order's created a great sensation. 
An astonishing fact known to every one, 

He's broken all records since he begun. 



( 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 61 



He's known in the east, he's known in the west, 
He's known as the man who will not rest 

Until he convinces me or you 

That he is a Pythian warm and true. 

Now, I'm an Odd Fellow, as some of the rest; 

But I think very soon we'll file a protest 
Against the order of Pythian Knights 

They're trying to divest us of all of our rights. 

We don't see how that order pays 

Three hundred fifty in ninety days 
After the proof of the brother's death, 

And pay up in full with no balance left. 
We'll concentrate our forces with Blount; 

As Grand Chancellor, we'll keep him in front, 
Not only the Lodges of Birmingham, 

But all of the Lodges of Alabam'. 

He is the first choice of the grand old order, 

If you don't know it, you surely "oughter," 

So let us endeavor with all our mights 

To keep him in front of the Pythian Knights. 



Our Efforts in Building A Reformatory 
at TtirKey CreeK, Ala. 



"R" stands for Reformatory Association 

Sixteen miles north at Turkey Creek station 

On the Anniston Branch of the L. & N., 
Not far away, but real close in. 

The Hon. Judge Feagin some six years ago 

Had a thought in his bosom that troubled him so 

Concerning the Negro boys of our race. 



62 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



He thought, in his heart, they should have a nice place. 
Now to finish the thought his heart had begun, 

He sent for the ministers, everyone, 
Mapping out the plans he thought to be best, 

He left it to the ministers to do the rest. 
They started well but they fell through 

As other things quite often do. 
I'm sorry to say, the ministers failed. 

Now to keep the work from being assailed, 
A handful of women took their places, 

Hitching themselves up in their traces 
And labored and worried and oftimes cried, 

So many times they'd been denied. 
Still pushing forward with a vim, 

And looking steadfastly to Him 
Who says, "I am thy»all 'in all, 

Trust in Me thou shalt not fall." 
They put their trust into their God, 

While outside foes were fighting hard. 
Ever trusting in the song 

"It is better farther along." 
Ever trying a sits to seek, 

Alas, they settled on Turkey Creek. 
Now begins the wonderful story 

Of the Boys' Reformatory. 
"Eighty-two acres of land or more 

Where tatoes, corn and beans will grow 
Great timbers standing on the land 

Are actually in great demand. 
An everlasting well is there, 

. And trees their teeming fruits do bear. 
Is that all ? I answer not 

A nice house decorates this lot." 
Therefore, with these great things in view, 

We make an humble 'peal to you 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



63 



Not to help make a noise 

But to help us save the wayward boys. 
Now is the time to save them, then 

If we want any first-class future men. 
We know little boys are prone to wandering, 

And breaking the law in their wild meandering. 
Anon comes an officer of the town 

And mother's boy is carried down. 
Anon comes mother to relieve him — she tries 

But failing to do so she weeps and cries. 
The boy is carried back to the den 

With hardened criminals and wicked men, 
Where blasphemous threats and cursings are heard 

And many another vulgar word. 
When once he drinks his cup of shame, 

He ever carries a blighted name. 
In order to check this mighty sin 

Two Associations have now begin 
By pushing plans they think is best 

To end in ultimate success. 
It might be of importance to you 

To know wherefore we now have two 
Reformatories in the land. 

I think we all should understand 
First — we really need three or four, 

For the criminal docket will plainly show 
The number of arrests made day by day, 

There's really no time for children play. 
There is the Ladies' Federation 

And the Boys' Reformatory Association. 
Both seeming to have the work at heart 

But oh ! How strange they should work apart. 
Now the ministers by whom the work begun 

(Of all denominations, excepting none) 
Feeling that the Ladies' Federation 



64 CO- OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Would feel their work a conflagration 
(I mean their work at Turkey Creek) 

Co-operation they did seek, 
When in Mobile they had their meeting, 

The ministers sent a messenger and greeting, 
Co-operation being their plea. 

This was turned down immediately. 
The answer was made in a very plain tone, 

"No!" "We prefer to work alone." 
Another year' passed swiftly by 

The ministers again resolved to try. 
So they met in their Birmingham meeting 

Likewise sending the same peace greeting, 
Offering another proposition 

To show there was no opposition 
Springing up within their heart, 

But willing with them to take part. 
They humbly offered to resign 

Their work here and fall in line, 
And help them this great flood to stem 

And work auxiliary to them. 
But no, the Ladies' Federation 

Without one minute's hesitation 
Spoke once again in plainer tone, 

We prefer to stem the tide alone. 
The ministers not being satisfied 

Another method they humbly tried. 
They met the Board of the Federation, 

The same petition, "Co-operation." 
Showing the work that they had done, 

And counting the boys all one by one — 
Who had been rescued by their board. 

Not seeing how anyone could afford 
To oppose a proposition so friendly made, 

And to this end they must have prayed. 



MR. C. M. HARRIS 
Of the firm of Davenport & Harris, Undertakers 
Mr. Harris is a prosperous young man — keen business insight — a Christ 
gentleman and patriotic citizen. Mr. Harris is now and has been 
for about eight years the Superintendent of the A. M. E. 
Sunday School, Biimirgham. Ala. He is also 
very prominent in social circles. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



As the Federation and passed them by ; 
But the Board then made the same reply, 
Answering in a firmer tone, 

"None of your help, we'll work alone." 
We hope you can see how the ministers tried, 

But for three straight times they've been denied 
Not only of affiliation, 

But actually of recognition. 
Now the question is to everyone : 

What shall we do with the work begun 
At Turkey Creek, sixteen miles away ? 

We are waiting to hear just what you say, 
Because we can't get the co-operation 

Of the Board of the Ladies' Federation. 
Does that stand as a reason why 

We no other means should try. 
Think of eighty-two acres of land, 

Not far away, but close at hand ; 
This fact should increase all our joys, 

And help us save the wayward boys. 
So let us repeat it once again 

On the Anniston Branch of the L. & N. 
Sixteen miles north I'd have you know 

Where peas and corn and cabbage grow 
Almost without cultivation 

Not far away — at Turkey Creek Station. 

She's under first-class management, 
Mrs. Ben P. Fowlkes is President 

Of the Boys' Reformatory Association, 

Sixteen miles north at Turkey Creek Station. 

If these facts don't appeal to you 

I pray you say unto whom they do; 

These things should greatly increase your joys 
And help us save our Negro boys. 



66 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLULION OF 



Dedicated to every man, woman, boy, 
And girl, who have any desire for 
Reformation of our youth. 

The foregoing is every whit true; carrying with it no 
prejudice whatever. But endeavoring to show just the efforts 
made by the association. — Read ! Study ! Act ! 

Respectfully, THE AUTHOR. 



I'd Love to See That Day. 



I'd love to see that great day come, 

I hope 'twill not be late, 
When colored men with colored men 

Will all — co-operate. 
And like a stonewall firmly stand 

Linked and pressed together, 
Without the slightest of regard 

For any kind of weather. 

Oh! would that joyful hour come 

Wherein the Negro man, 
Would pride himself in his own race, 

'Twould be the safest plan 
And mounting upward they would rise 

Their onward course pursueing, 
They'd open everybody's eyes, 

To what the Negro's doing. 

I truly hope that day will come 

And at a rapid rate, 
When young men of the Negro race 

Will cease to congregate 
Upon some corner or filthy dive 

And, as our girls pass by, 
Are heard to make some low remarks 

Or cast a fiendish eye. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



67 



'Tis my desire of such an elf 

To pound him with my fist, 
Or shove him off the earth — because 

He never would be missed. 
Our girls have burdens of their own 

And others, too — to bear, 
And the biggest thing that they can do 

Is, handle them with care. 

I 'd love to see that great day come 

At morning noon or night, 
When these young men will take a stand, 

For virtue, truth and right 
The entire race has troubles of their 

Own and by the score 
And you only do a little thing 

By adding to them more. 

I'd love to see that great day come 

Bounding on — apace, 
When some one else will chew hard bones 

Besides the Negro race. 
Though something within me seems to say 

Behold! it nearer draws, 
When some bold hand will advocate 

The Southern Negro's cause. 

I'd love to see that great day come, 

When peace and joy and mirth 
Shall wave their unfurled banners 

O'er the nations of the earth. 
Oh would that day make haste to come 

Wherein the love of God 
Would cease to melt some people's heart 

And make the others hard. 

I can't believe that Jesus' binod 

Deals with the nations so, 
As to make some high and hearty 

And to make the others low. 
My ideal of religion is 

Not what you say — but do 
Unto all others as you 'd have 

All others do to you. 



68 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I'd love to see that great day come 

When nations, great and small 
Shall know there is one Christ and King 

And that he died for all. 
The Jew, the Greek, the French, the Mede, 

And those in Hindoostan, 
And if our Bible is true at all 

He died for the Negro man. 

I'd love to see that bright day come 

When folks shall know that love 
Is the only key that can unlock 

The mansion up above. 
And turn to Galatians, 6 and 7th, 

And read it o'er and o'er 
That every man throughout the land 

Shall reap just what he sow(s). 

I long to see that great day come 

When teachers all will teach 
And preachers, all, both great and small 

Will this one sermon preach. 
"No nation ever did arise 

To any height whatever 
Unless they like the cable's cords 

Are wrapped and tied together." 

Now here's a truth that gives me pain 

Yet I tell it o'er and o'er 
Of an incident which occured to me 

About six months ago, 
I run the Novelty Book Concern 

Down on Twentieth Street 
And two young gentlemen, pleasant face 

Dressed up very neat(ly). 

Straightway entering in my place 

Thinking it a bar, 
They doubtless had it in their minds 

To purchase a cigar. 
But seeing I was a Negro man; 

Forthwith spake the bigger, 
"We can't afford to buy cigars 

By no means from a nigger. " 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



69 



I'd love to see that great day come 

When these two gentlemen, 
Will realize their sad mistake 

And try it over again. (See introduction.) 
I hope they'll wear their spectacles 

And come another day, 
And read this book that they may see 

The Negro in another way. 

I hope that day will hasten on 

When nations all around, 
Will learn that in in the Negro's breast 

A true, warm heart is found. 
And not be ready with one accord 

To crush the Negro's bores, 
By dashing pebbles against his house, 

And in his pathway, stones. 

Oh, would that day without delay 

Come in for its turn 
When the Negro man throughout the land 

Will this great lesson learn; 
No matter where their business is 

Nor what they chance to do, 
Co operation is the only means 

Will ever pull them through. 

I hope the Negro man will see 

And stop a while and think 
That the strongest part of any chain 

Is in its weakest link. 
Stand side by side, so firmly tied 

That aught can no means sever; 
And thus the Negro man would stand 

A monument forever. 

T5he EureKa Printing Co. 

I am glad to inform you everyone, 

By whom this printing work was done. 

There were other presses a great deal bigger 
But none could suit me like a nigger. 

So, following the dictates of my mind; 
I decided to try to find 

A COLORED PRINTING COMPANY 

To print and make this book for me. 



70 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I am glad to say, in going around, 

The Eureka Printing Co. 1 found 
And they gave me their guarantee 

That they would make my book for me; 
And thereupon we closed the trade 

And I my earnest money paid 
And they assured me near about 

The day they'd get this, my books out. 

Mr. Smith, the Manager said to me; 

"Mr. Fowlkes, I am anxious that you see 
We can make your book for you 

As well as anyone, we feel quite sure." 
If herein you should errors see, 

The errors were not made by me 
For I stood head when I was at school 

With one exception from the rule. — (See Intro. Page 7. 

****** 

Miss Emma Harpe, I'm glad to say, 

Works with this Company every day. 
To me it gives the greatest pleasure, 

Bounding upward without measure; 
It's my delight to let you know 

She set the type of the Little Book Store. 
This lady worked with all her might, 

She even worked by 'lectric light 
Pressing forward, onward, steady, 

Trying to get these, my books ready. 
Indeed, it quite a credit brings 

On a Negro girl to do such things. 

Miss Callie Norman, another friend, 

Youug lady whom I must commend 
Because she worked so earnestly 

In helping to print this book for me, 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



71 



ibese pages which you on inspection 

Search and find there's no correction; 
These I'd have you understand 

Were printed by these ladies' hands; 
Those chapters which you on inspections 

Half-way search and find corrections 
The perpetrators of this great sin 

Were the Eureka Printing Company's men. 
* * * * * * 

I like these folks — and less I fudge 

I leave it with you to be the judge. 
I'll bare the book before your face 

And let you take the critic's place. 
If you find the printing correct 

Tell others. But if you object, 
Kindly tell the Compauy so; 

And they will thank you— this I know. 

You have no right a cry to make 

At a Nigger printer's little mistake. 
If you only seek to find a fau t, 

I, think it time to call a halt. 
I hereby beg to refer you thus; 

To the twenty- third chapter of Exodus 
The ideal place is found — verse four 

By free translation you read it so — 
Whenever a Nigger man starts up a hill 

You've sure got to hep 'im if against your will. 

I'm glad to say, and I'm saying still 

'Twas not at all against my will 
To pass by places ten times bigger 

And have this book made by a Nigger. 
I look on this as a thing of beauty, 

Peeling that I've done my duty; 
And you will do your duty when 

You patronize our Colored men. 



72 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Co-operation in this wise 

Would swell these Negroes' enterprise 
And press them out and they would grow 

In size unto the Little Book Store 
And pressing onward they would swell 

To a summit which I cannot tell. 
They'd clasp the hands of all the res' 

And build a first-class printing press. 

I hope to see that great day come 

When every Nigger the line will plum' 
And join together in hand and heart, 

Each one willing to do his part; 
Wherever he hears the duty call 

Will not falter and backward fall 
Press onward, upward day and night 

Trust in God and do the right 
And for your own race do your best 

And leave it with God to do the rest. 



£T>6e Alabama Saw WorRs 

J. T. Carlton, Manager 



S — Stands for Saw Works; something brand new. 

I take great pleasure in naming to you 
The Alabama Saw Works Company 

Their number is fifteen-twenty. 
The Proprietor, Mr. J. T. Carlton, is 

A graduate in the saw works biz; 
Pound on Second Avenue 

He makes and sharpens tools for you. 




SIR R. A. BLOUNT 
Grand Chancellor of the Order of K. of P. of Alabama. 

He marshals the forces of Pythian Knights- 
Like Stonewall Jackson he stands for their rights 
No vale is too low, no mountain too high 
"There'll be no Alps." he seems to reply. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



73 



He'll put your dull saws in good trim; 

Or, any other tool you bring to him, 
Whether an axe or hatchet or hoe, 

A circular saw or an old lawn mower; 
Whether it be an old band-saw 

Or a dull and worn out old hand-saw, 
Carpenter's plane or a butcher's tool, 

He'll fix this thing up by the rule. 
He made a band saw one inch wide, 

Fifteen feet long; I'm satisfied. 
Made of the finest material; 

In workmanship it was imperial. 

A pleasing sight to see this man 

With a worn out saw or axe in han', 

Or with some worn out digging hoe 

That for some years has ceased to go; 

When he puts his hands unto these things 

To perfect order the blades he brings. 

One day last week I chanced to stop 

At J. T. Carlton's Saw Works shop; 
I saw a saw he had down there 

Not worth a nickel anywhere; 
Blade and teeth bent, handle rotten, 

(The very picture of things forgotten.) 
I asked this man immediately: 

What good can that old hand saw be? 

In answering he said to me: 

Come back to-morrow and you'll see 
A perfect saw in handle and blade, 

That I from this thing shall have made. 
I'm glad to say I went and saw; 

And if the saw I saw was the one I saw 
Down theie on the day before, 

I'm ready to decide, and evermore 
I'll never throw any tool away 

Until I hear what Carlton says. 



74 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



1 hereby cheerfully recommend 

Mr. J. T. Carlton, he's a friend 
To any kind of worn out tool. 

He does this one thing by the rule. 
When you find a Nigger can do this thing 

You have a perfect right to bring 
All the work you possibly can; 

We've got to build up the Nigger man. 

Mr. Carlton has a very nice place 

He's a gentleman with a pleasing face; 
And more than all has an honest heart; 

So, let us like brothers do our part. 
Co-operation will pull him through 

Swift, like a jumping kangoroo 
And cause this gentleman's biz to rise 

To Henry Diston's Sons in size. 



&f>e Birmingham Reporter 



I've taken the authority now to use. 

The name of a paper that has all the news 
Of the latest happenings day by day 

Presented to the public in a pleasant way. 
The Birmingham Reporter to which I refer 

Is Birmingham's leading newspaper. 

The manager, Mr. O. W. Adams, is 

A Hercules in trhe paper biz 
The Reporter is now about three years old 

Or at least that's what I have been told. 
Is this not a great sensation 

They have a five thousand circulation ( ?) 
Going forth at the end of every week 

With any information that you may seek. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



75 



No matter where the deed was done 

If it was anywhere under the sun 
If you want the truth of it 

The Birmingham Reporter you should git. 
This looks to me like common sense 

You get it three months for fifty cents. 
And for the next three months to follow 

They make it to you for only one dollar. 
For one whole year this paper is sold 

For a dollar and a half (so I've been told). 

They publish these papers on Saturday 

And on this date they send them away 
Some go East and North and West 

Some go South like all the rest. 
They carry your adds and cuts and news 

Or anything else that you may choose. 
If you want the world to know a thing 

Your w T ork is ended whenever you bring 
It to the Birmingham Reporter. 

I really think we should support her. 

She is successor to the Negro Enterprise 
And ever since she's been on the rise ; 

Rising steadily I've been tol' 

That she already has reached the goal. 

These are really astonishing riggers 

To see our brothers, (I mean the Niggers) 
Cutting so many kinds of capers ; 

Owning and running their own newspapers. 
Running hotels and restaurants, 

Making their clothes, coats, vests and pants. 
Running their own big wagons and drays 

There must be something new nowadays. 



76 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I return back to my subject again 

The Birmingham Reporter | in words true and plain) 
Is the leading paper in Birmingham 

With a very few leaders in Alabam. 
Take this paper and you will be 

Satisfied — I guarantee. 
That no better paper will be found 

Xo matter where you gad around 
Read this paper and you will know 

All about the Little Book Store. 
By your support this paper would rise 

To the Birmingham Evening Xews in size. 



Eugene Jones— Dentist. 

"D" stands for Dentist — Dr. E. T. Tones — 

A man that every one freely owns. 
And freely acknowledges that he is 

A Dentist indeed that knows his biz. 
To me it is an honor and pleasure 

To point to the man whom we all treasure. 
I'm glad to say throughout the South 

W "ho puts dem putties in your mouth. 

I do not mean them things you tell 

That set on nature the fire of 

But I mean those things — make you look neat 

And help old folks their meals to eat. 
I hereby wish to express the truth. 

He's a realistic on a tooth. 
When your tooth begins to decay 

Don't pull it out and throw it away, 
But carry that tooth to Eugene Tones, 

He'll fix you up for gnawing bones. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



77 



His place of business, I'd have you know, 

Is just above the Little Book Store; 
His place is kept quite clean and neat 

At 116 South Twentieth Street. 
He stands unequalled in this town 

On placing in your mouth a crown 
Or bridge or filling of a tooth — 

No fiction, but a solid truth. 
No matter how beautiful you may be, 

And all dressed up most handsomely, 
And in your hand a bridal wreath, 

You'd add more grace if you had good teeth. 
If you want bridge work or old teeth filled — 

Since the panic is on you can have it billed. 
Now don't let billing be the end, 

But pay the man "I recommend." 

Now, when your teeth begin to ache 

And emotions make your whole frame shake 

And from its pain you're most distracted — 
Go there and have the tooth extracted, 

I'm reminded of a story that's told 

Of a man in life who'd grown very old, 
Whose teeth gave him so much trouble 

It made the man almost walk double, 
And to get relief you need not doubt 

He frankly had his teeth pulled out. 
He was soon accosted by his frien' 

To have some rrtore teeth put back in. 

In answering he made a brief reply, 

"I thank you, friend, but till I die 
I 'bromise' de Lawd if he wud be 

'Ceeding marciful to me. 
And help me git dese old tooths out 

I'd nebber put anodder one in my mout." 



78 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



That does mighty well for an aged man, 
But that kind o' policy cannot stand, 

And we all know it a thing of beauty 
And look upon it as your duty. 

Feeling 'twould be an unpardonable sin. 
To have no more teeth put back in. 

Now when you want work of this kind 

In Eugene Jones, sir, you will find 
A man whose work will bear inspections 

Perfect and without corrections. 
Now the lesson which I wish to teach 

Is to place pure food within your reach, 
That in the coming years you may 

Enjoy the bliss of a better day. 

Some look upon us as cess pools 

And others see us as worthless fools 

But heed the call at once, be wise, 

And build up your race's enterprise. 



Withers Normal and Industrial 
University. 

Mrs. M. V. Withers, Principal 

I take the authority of suspending the rule 

To speak a few words of the above named school; 

I'll name a few studies in each department, 

From Kindergarten to Normal Department. 

"Kindergarten." 

The Kindergarten (as I think you know), 

Is a place where our wee little children can go 

While their little minds are plastic and bright 
And thus they become a parent's delight. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



79 



Their ages range from four to six 

And here they are taught to do little trix 
As cutting, drawing and pasting to — do 

Painting, weaving and stick laying, too; 
Stringing and beedwork these little ones are taught 

And many another that require some thought. 
Send your little ones here, dear friend, 

'Twill make them useful women and men. 

"Industrial Department. 

This branch differs in study and age 

For an important lesson is learned from this stage 
You must be some older and life more matured 

To grasp the instruction which must be secured. 
In this department each one has a work 

And from this duty the students can't shirk. 
The girls are instructed such work to do 

As modern housekeeping and laundrying too, 
Embroidery, art work, dressmaking, also 

Plain sewing, rug weaving and a good many more. 
As space will not 'low me the full tale to tell 

I beg to assure you "their work is done well." 
Those other fellows that's given to noise 

Can you guess who? Oh, yes, the boys. 
They've got them hitched and harnessed, too. 

They learn picture framing and woodwork to do, 
And as thus they march through the battles of life 

They're better prepared to care for a wife. 

Normal Department. 

When to this summit you make the assent 
The curriculum is "Civil Government," 

Latin, Algebra and Geology, 

Elements of Morals and Physiology, 



80 CD- OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Zoology, Bookkeeping, Geomentry and Greek, 
"Teaching Practice," or whatever you seek. 

There is no exception to this rule 

These studies are taught at the Withers' High School. 

A curriculum, of course, for Sunday, too, 

These are something that the students must do. 

I think this is an iron bound rule, 

Each student must attend Sunday school. 

Must have a bible, though ordinary; 
Must also have a dictionary. 
This has been the long standing rule 
That governs the "Withers' Industrial School." . 

I cannot speak of tuition and board 

The printer's limitation will not quite afford 
That I dwell longer upon this kind 

Of description. In their catalogue you will find 
All its conditions, requirements and rule 

That you must undergo before entering school. 
Before your child to this school is sent 

You should phone or write to its President ; 
Address your letters to South Woodlawn 

With "Mrs. M. V. Withers" name placed on, 
"Forty-eight fifteen First avenue," 

And she will receive it, I feel quite sure. 

If you want to send the little one alone 

Call the long distance Bell telephone 
Twenty-five hundred and eleven, you know, 

And some one will meet it at the City depot. 
There's nothing left off that they can do 

To take the best care of your children for you. 

"The Principal/ 3 

I take great pleasure in introducing to you 
Mrs. M. V. Withers, faithful and true ; 



MR. (). M. JOHNSON - 
Treasurer of The Peoples Guarantee Loan & Trust Co. and a member 
of the Board of Directors Mr Johnson is a, prosperous 
young man and we predict a bright future for him. 




PROF. S. W. WIGGINS 
President Peoples Guarantee Loan & Trust Co., Organized Feb. 13, 1907, 
Capital Stock $25,C00. a strong firm prospering nicely. 
They solicit your business. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



81 



A lady that's known both far and wide, 

A lady to whom I point with pride ; 
A lady who is loved by all 

Humanity, both great and small. 
A lady fully competent 

And worthy of all compliment. 
A higher regard for order and rule, 

She brought into existence "The Withers' High School." 

She was former principal of the Tuggle Institute 

And of her health becoming destitute 
Her physician bade her teaching cease, 

And her anxious school room cares release. 
(This, the advice given by himself) 

Insured her 'twould increase her health, 
And upon the record you will find 

That following instructions, she resigned. 

Resigning, of course, was not the end 

For as soon as she was able, my friend, 
She seems to have suspended the doctor's rule 

And brought to existence the above named school. 
The neighbors living near about her 

Said they could not live without her 
Training of their children day by day 

So she decided that in some way 
She'd try to follow her neighbors' request,. 

She resolved that she would do her best, 
Trusting that God would lead her through 

And help her, the neghbors' request to do. 

To the relief of her mind this thought did come 
By help of the Lord, I'll invert my home 

Into a school for the little girls 

And assist them how to be mothers' pearls. 



62 



CO OPERATION THE SOLULION OP 



Into a school for the little boys 

I'll bear with contentment, all of their noise ; 
All of their mischievous quarrels and spatts, 

And teasing the girls of these and thats 
I'll bear it all for my neighbors' sake 

And useful men and women make. 



Mrs. M. V. Withers, I introduce to you, 

Leaves nothing undone that she can do 
To lead the children in a pleasant way 

To usefulness in a future day. 
This school stands a monument 

Of honor to its President 
A crown of victory, pride and grace 

Reflecting credit to the Negro race. 

I do not believe in saving flowers 

For the Hero in his closing hours, 
But give them to him in vigor or youth 

'Twill help press home to him the truth 
That you appreciate what he has done. 

'Tis cruel to wait 'till life's race is run. 
Don't bring your flowers to "Withers" grave 

Flowers in life help a soul to save. 
She needs them while earth's fierce battle rage; 

She needs them while foes against her engage; 
She needs them now or she needs them never 

For all is bliss in that bright forever. 



News and Cigar Stand 

John M. Coar 

X stands for news stand, there's John M. Coar, 
Who's just inside of the Penny Bank door; 

From most of the cities he carries the news, 

There're quite a number from which you can choose 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



S3 



Arriving to him on every day; 

You should get your paper there anyway. 

I know the little newsboy cuts many capers 
When there's a sensation in the papers; 
Every other little fellow that you meet, 

These are the words with you he'll greet: 
"Mister, do you want the news?" 
(Hoping of course you'll not refuse.) 
"All about John Brown who got robbed." 
"All about Sam Hill, he got stobbed." 
"All about a fire in the Chicago school." 
"All about a Nigger who stole a mule." 
"All about Goebel's trial in court." 
"All about the launching of some steamboat." 
And many another this and that — 

The air resounds with their noisy chat. 

You'll find the same at John Coar's place, 
The only Negro news stand in our race. 

When you want any news, 'tis there you go, 
(Don't tell the little newsboy I said so). 

He carries a number of magazines, 

Their names I've forgotten, so it seems, 

But more than all, on his shelf I saw 

Was the works of the great man, Paul Dunbar, 

Who at the head he stood as a poet — 

Oh, buy one and read, so you'll know it. 

He carries inks and papers and tablets too 

And a good deal more than other stands do; 

His place is kept in first-class trim — 
A creditable thing indeed for ihm. 

He also has a cigar stand 

And a full supply always at hand. 



84 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



All of the best and highest grade, 

Domestic goods and foreign made, 

Cabinets, Childs and Cuesta Ray — 
Very fine goods, so the people say. 

Charles Denby and the renowned Cremo, 
All kept in stock by John M. Coar. 

Of a truth we're standing on the brink, 
And some of our people never think 

Of the things as they exist today, 

But like Rip Van Winkle, they sleep away. 

Now to give you more instruction, 

I refer you to the introduction 
Which I've recorded in this book — 

If you've forgotten it, oh hasten and look. 
"When these two gentlemen passed my place 

And saw I was not of their race, 
This excuse was made by the bigger — 

"We can't buy cigars from a Nigger," 
Has caused me to write this message to you ; 

If heeded 'twill surely carry you through. 

I commend those gentlemen for their thought, 

As exponents of what they're taught. 
At first their words were quite oppressing, 

But I see it now as one great blessing. 
So with all the strength that within me is 

I'se qwin to take a pull for the Negro biz, 
So let us help our brothers rise 

By building up their enterprise. 



j 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



85 



Harris Brothers Company— Grocers. 



G stands for Groceries — there's Harris Brothers Co., 
Who run a first-class grocery store ; 

They're the leading grocers in the town, 
At 1 41 6 they will be found 

Transacting their business as others do — 
Down on Second Avenue. 

For quite a while they have been here, 

They have many customers far and near ; 
They have a neat and first-class place, 

It reflects great credit to the Negro race. 
I went down there the other day, 

Got captivated right away 
At the things I saw in this nice store ; 

'Speck I'd better let you know. 

You do not have to leave your home, 

But call them on either telephone; 
If you want meal or coffee or flour, 

They fill your order the self same hour. 

I walked into this store myself, 

These goods I saw upon their shelf — 
Jellies, preserves, pickles and jam, 

Pineapples, tomatoes and potted ham ; 
They also carry Van Camp peas, 

They carry New York full cream cheese, 
They carry ham loaf and corn flake toast 

And cinnamon and corn beef roast, 
A full line of coffees and sugars and rices 

And many different kinds of spices; 
Butter and eggs and oranges too, 

They have canned corn called "Honey Dew." 



86 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



They carry oysters, salmons and clams, 

They carry Swift's best premium hams, 

They carry Van Camp's pork and beans, 
American and imported sardines. 

Canned hominy and canned sour krout, 

The best in the country you need not doubt, 
Potted chicken, oh it's finer than silk, 

They carry Blue Ribbon tripe with milk, 
They're down on Second near Fifteenth Street, 

Their goods are as fresh and their store as neat 
And up-to-date as any others — 

I mean the store of Harris Brothers. 

Their delivery wagon to be sure 

Delivers your goods right to your door; 
No matter what your orders be 

They fill your orders assuredly. 
Now listen unto me, my friend, 

I hereby to you recommend 
That you pass one by one the others 

And carry your trade to Harris Brothers, 
Their help is real polite to you, 

Contrary to what the other folks do. 

Oh, colored man, my advice is to try it, 

Indeed you will be profited by it; 
Co-operate with your brother in black, 

The result will be an astonishing fact. 
Remember that your brother's a Nigger, 

We can help them build a store that's bigger. 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



b7 



New Washington Hotel. 



H stands for Hotel — I'm now going to mention 

An up-to-date house; you will please give attention, 
While I shall proceed in part now to tell 

In a graphic description of the leading Hotel. 
The New Washington Hotel is an inn up-to-date — 

You cannot arrive there too soon or too late 
For supper or breakfast or what of the kind, 

They are always open, please bear it in mind. 

As a Hotel in every way it's complete, 

Located on First and Seventeenth Street, 

When this place you once have found 

Youn find nine store rooms on the ground 

Large neat rooms are all these nine 

Their fixtures are exceeding fine, 
All kept clean and polished bright 

In every room is a lectric light. 

j 

The proprietor of the Washington Hotel 

Is a man who knows the business well, 

Of whom our people are not ashame — 
Mr. P. M. Edwards is his name. 

I went upstairs the other day, 

And I got spellbound right away, 
The beauty and grandeur of that place 

Is a creditable thing for any race ; 
Twenty-four rooms are there or more. 

And velvet carpet on the floor. 
Their beds are clean and neat and snug 

And here and there a Smyrna rng. 



88 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



Beautiful pictures on the walls, 

In their rooms and in their halls, 
The towels and napkins there are found 

Will cast reflection on eider down; 
The walls are white like thistle down 

No criticisms can be found 
With the management of this great place 

It's a monument to the Negro race. 

I strolled into the reception hall 

And the things I mentioned are nothing at all, 
To be compared with things found here; 

But to describe them, Oh ! I can't, I fear. 
An illumination of electric lights 

Was the simplest thing among the sights ; 
Davenports and fine art squares, 

Beautiful rugs and handsome chairs. 

Bells, of course, to make the calls, 

And numberless pictures on the walls, 
And books that you may read and know 

The shortest route to the Little Book Store; 
Large and beautiful folding doors, 

Some fourteen feet, I suppose, 
With many a large and beautiful curtain, 

Imported goods, I feel quite certain. 

Just inside the middle door 

They have a beautiful piano, 
Dedicated for their guest to use, 

And thus their weary selves amuse. 

Mr. D. C. Gordon manages this place — 

He lead me through the greatest of grace, 

And with great pleasure, of course, he shew 
All of these things I've mentioned to you; 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



b9 



They carry hot and cold both-tubs, 

The floor, I think, the lady scrubs 
Every other day or two, 

But of this thing I am not sure. 

But I'm sure Miss Mamie Davis is 

The lady in charge of the house hold biz, 

'T'is she that keeps this place so well, 
I'm sorry I have hot space to tell. 

Now here is something that beats the Ban, 

It's run on the European plan, 
'Twas not meal time when I was there, 

See Mitchell's Cafe for the bill of fare. 
So, friends, when you want bed and board 

Or a travelers' lunch when on the road, 
Or a place at which to perpetually dwell, 

These favors are had at the Washington Hotel. 



Washington Daniels ®, Co.— Plumbers 

I hereby cheerfully recommend 

This firm as Plumbers, they're my friend. 
In repair work and practical plumbing 

My friend, Mr. Daniels, is surely coming. 
His business is progressing fine, 

Home 'phone seventy-twenty-nine. 
You'll find his shop kept very neat 

At eight-seventeen South Fourteenth Street. 

In order to interest every one 

I'll name in part some work he has done, 
(And to this work he invites your inspection — 

If you like the work — then make him your selection). 
I shall not be able to name it all — 

He did the work on the K. of P. Hall 
On Second Avenue, near Sixteenth Street — 

This job is sworn to be complete. 



90 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 

This job stands open for inspection — 

For your approval or your objection; 
If disapproved, why let him know, 

But if approved, tell others so. 
The Mason & Lauderdale buildings stand 

Plumbed by Washington Daniels' hand; 
Upon this work we should all comment — 

It stands a living monument. 
The work to Daniels adds great grace — 

These buildings — a credit to the Negro race. 

And here's another creditable thing, 

I believe it will some credit bring 
To. the Washington Daniel Plumbing Co. — 

'Speck I'd better tell you that you might know ; 
Listen now to what I say — 

He does all the work for S. Bethea, 
Who leads the town on Real Estate — 

"Old Dan is coming at a rapid rate." 

W 7 ith another firm he is allied — 

This firm, I feel quite satisfied, 
Conducts their business up-to-date; 

They also deal in Real Estate; 
They've been in our city many a day; 

The manager's name is John Bethea. 
Ask him by whom his plumbing is done, 

He'll tell you "Daniel is the one." 

He works for E. Y. Gregory, too, 

And R. F. Manly; I am sure 
All are on the list of his — 

Ask them, they'll say he knows his biz. 
Now one more firm and I'll be through — 

He works for Smith and Stillman too. 
Now if these firms which are so much bigger 

Can get their work done by a Nigger, 
I think by this you ought to see 

Old Dan's a-coming powerfully. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



91 



Now here's the keynote of my writing 

And my object for prolonged inviting — 
I simply mean to pull you to it ; 

Your plumbing work, let Daniel do it. 
I do not know of any one 

Not satisfied with the work he's done. 
Co-operation is my plea, 

'Twill pull you through assuredly. 

Finally, Brother, here is my charge — 

"Do your duty and do not dodge;" 
Do everything on earth you can 

To help build up the Negro man. 
''Co-operation" I bring to you — 

Will doubtless pull the Negro through. 
"Co-operation" will make him rise 

To Ben F. Barber's Plant and size. 



Dr. U. G. Mason 

D stands for Doctor — There's one more than all — 

Dr. U. G. Mason, for whom you should call, 
When chronic diseases start out for the life 

Of husband or daughter or brother or wife; 
When pain's so distressing they cannot rest, 

And on this account you are so distressed 
That your heart is stricken with sorrow and grief — 

You'll find Dr. Mason a sure relief. 

His office, of course I'd have you know, 

Is quite a long ways from the Little Book Store ; 
Whenever you call him, he'll come at the word, 

From his office at lyiy Third; 
His place is as neat as neat can be, 

A pleasant sight indeed to see; 
The way he's fixed up in that place 

Is a creditable thing to the Negro race. 



92 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



As a doctor of merit more than all, 

'Tis U. G. Mason whom you should call ; 
My reason for saying is 

He's a real expert in his line of biz ; 
I hereby cheerfully recommend 

That when you get sick, call my friend; 
(No matter what be your disease) 

He'll give your racking body ease. 

Though you're tossing upon your bed 

With scorching fever of the head, 
Even more — congestive chills 

Freely yield if Mason wills; 
Shooting pains all through your side, 

At morning, noon and evening tide; 
When Dame Lagrippe has drawn you double, 

He's to Lagrippe what fire's to stubble; 
No matter what may be your ills, 

Away they go if Mason wills. 

I think it quite a credit brings 

On Nigger doctor to do such things; 

Heed my motto, to it stick, 

Call a Nigger doctor when you get sick ; 

They can guess, I'm glad to tell, 

Like anybody else, when you'll be well. 

I learned of a doctor in Louisville 

Who always moved against his will 

To a Negro's house. If he found him sick, 
He'd feel his pulse with a stick — 

A doubtful chance if he'd ever rise — 

. The chances are nine to one — he dies. 

When you are sick and call in a Nigger, 

There're are chances on your life to rigger, 

But when you call the other one — 

'Twill not be long 'fore calling is done; 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



93 



He only has to pull the throttle — 

(I mean by this the little black bottle), 

And away you go from joy and myrth 

To your compact mansion under the earth. 

The sayings herein are numerous, 

Commonly seen as humorous, 
But lest you see no farther'n that, 

'Speck I'd better show you just where I'm at. 
Behold the message I bring to you, 

From a heart both warm and true; 
I simply want you to understand 

We've Nigger doctors in our land, 
Who are just as well prepared, you see, 

To feel the pulse of you or me 
As any doctor you will find 

Of any class or any kind. 

Heed my message, 'twill put you through 

And make you fresh as the morning dew; 
Heed my message anyhow — 

Not tomorrow, but just now; 
Heed my message, don't delay, 

'Twill build you up some future day; 
Here's my motto, to it stick — 

Call a Nigger doctor when you get sick. 



Foster and Thompson -Electricians. 

E stands for Electricians, I'm glad, sir, to tell 

That Foster & Thompson do their work well. 
I don't know where they got their start, 

But they seem to know their biz by heart. 
When once they start to do your work 

They never have been known to shirk 
From any duty day or night, 

When it comes to managing a' 'lectric light. 



94 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



You'll find them on Third Avenue — 

Half way the block from the Bijou; 
A neater place will not be seen — 

Their number is 17 17. 
Upon this point we wish to dwell, 

Let 'em put in your 'lectric bell ; 
You need not walk away from home, 

But call them on either telephone, 
And to your call some one replies — 

(But the telephone is I. B. Kighs) ; 
They'll never leave till your work they fix — 

Telephone number five-five-six. 

Now, since the Panic has begun, 

Here is some work you should surely have done; 
If you wish to repose safe from all harm, 

Let 'em place in your house a burglar alarm; 
You don't know what time the burglar will come 

And steal your chickens and plunder your home, 
And steal your horse, or cow, or mule — 

And he'll be the victor and you'll be the fool. 

In every city there are men who will shirk 

And ransack and pillage rather than work; 
Some are old men; some young and half grown, 

Reaping the harvest that others have sown ; 
This is my message in all its simplicity — 

Head off the thief by electricity. 
I hereby cheerfully recommend 

Foster & Thompson — they're my friend. 
You need not fear, for this firm is 

Niggers indeed who know their biz. 
Bring all your electrical troubles to them, 

For they are young men trying to swim. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



95 



E. A. Brown Attorney-at«Law, 



A stands for Attorney, no more are found 
Besides the Honorable E. A. Brown, 

Of the L. University of Pennsylvania, he is 
A finished Attorney who knows his biz; 

Telling the truth, indeed I am — 

He's the only Nigger lawyer in Birmingham. 

He's legal advisor for the K. of P's, 

He's very friendly to the F. E. T's ; 

He searches titles and mortgages, too — 

He'll search your records and deeds for you; 

He's well informed concerning the law, 
In his advice there's not a flaw. 

Whenever you want legal assistance, 

I hope you'll no longer stand at a distance, 
But bring all your troubles to E. A. Brown — 

The only Colored Attorney in town. 
A number of years he's been with us, 

We've learned to put in Brown our trust. 
No matter what your troubles may be, 

E. A. Brown says, "Bring 'em to me." 

E. A. Brown has a beautiful place, 

A creditable room for any race, 
Axminster carpet on the floor 

And Smyrna rug right at the door, 
A neater place will not be found. 

No matter where you gad around. 

Indeed it would be very nice 

To go to Brown for legal advice ; 



96 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



No matter what may be your trouble, 

I really think 'twould pay you double; 

I don't mean those who keep up strife 
And fight and knock their little wife 

Until she forces them in court 

And enters a plea for non-support. 

Don't bring this stuff to E. A. Brown, 

There are others can be found 
Who'll plead these kind o' cases for you, 

E. A. Brown's not a criminal lawyer. 
So any work that you can bring 

To E. A. Brown — 'twill be the thing; 
We're bound assistance him to give, 

There's no other w r ay for him to live. 



C. C. Cox— ShoemaKer. 



S stands for Shoes, I'd have you know 

The best place in town to go 
(As it has often been declared) 

And have your worn out shoes repaired — 
The one I'll mention now to you 

Knows his business on a shoe. 
No matter how tattered your shoes may be, 

Mr. C. C. Cox says "bring 'em to me." 

His work is as neat as neat can be, 

He's a self-made man, I'd have you see — 
A real expert with cobbler's tool, 

Doing first class work, and by the rule; 
On Avenue H his shop is seen, 

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets between ; 
Does all his work up-to-date 

And especially repairing while you wait. 




REV. W. C. OWENS 
Pastor Sardis Baptist Church, West Highlands, Birmingham. 
President Mt. Pilgrim District S. S. Convention 
Member National Baptist Publishing Board 
A devout minister— a patriotic citizen 
A man loved by all. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



97 



Here's something you should surely know— 

His number is thirteen-twenty-four ; 
His telephone number I am sure 

Is Peoples twenty-three-ninety-two. 
You do not have to leave your home, 

But call him over the telephone, 
Straightway he'll come and get your shoe, 

Repair and bring it back to you. 

I saw a pair of shoes he made 

Of workmanship the highest grade, 
All made up in a little while 

And of the very latest style. 
Now when your shoes begin to wear — 

Become sowornandsothread-bare, 
Or when the heels are so abused 

Because they've been so roughly used — 

I hereby cheerfully recommend 

You take these shoes unto my friend ; 
If you want them neatly done, 

My friend Charlie is the one. 
When to this place you once turn in, 

You'll find this place kept like a pin ; 
No matter where you gad around — 

A better shoe shop can't be found. 

So my advice would be to you — 

Bring him every single shoe, 
Whether it has in it a hole 

Or whether you want on it a sole, 
Whether you want some stitches sketched, 

Or whether you want it nicely stretched ; 
Whether you want new buttons on, 

Or whether the heel's entirely gone. 



9« 



COOPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Or whether you want a new one made, 

Selected from his higher grade, 
In vici kid or patent leather, 

Oxblood or anything whatever, 
When once this man you've simply tried, 

I'm sure you will be satisfied 
With whatever work he does for you — 

It's ours to pull this young man through. 

I repeat again what I have said, 

If you'll give Charlie all you trade, 
I feel quite sure that this man would rise 

To Collins Big Shoe Store in size; 
We'll try the co-operation plan, 

We'll bring all our trade to the Nigger man. 
I do not believe in taking scalps, 

But I really believe "there'll be no Alps" 
If we learn to see the Nigger biz. 

Important as any one else's is. 



Enon Ridge Grocery Co. 

M. C. DOZIER, Proprietor 

f. . 

Here is something I'd have you know — 

That on Enon Ridge we have a nice store 
Equipped in all the modern style 

Doing first-class business all the while; 
Mr. M. C. Dozier owns this store 

And I'm real anxious that you should know 
It's a first-class . store in a first-class place 

And a creditable thing to the Negro race. 

I went up there the other day 

And the goods he had upon display 



* 

THE SO GALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 99 



Reminded me of a wholesale store, 

Such a large supply — it surprised me so ; 
I walked into his store alone — 

These things he had, I freely own: 
Irish potatoes, turnip greens, 

Sweet potatoes an dnavy beans, 
Eggs and rice and sugar and hams, 

Bacon and peas and nice canned jams. 

He carries New York full cream cheese, 

He has Virginia seed ground peas, 
Carries tobacco, cigars and snuff, 

Shorts and bran and other feed stuff. 
He has in stock nice lima beans, 

American, French and other sardines, 
'Lasses, vinegar and pickled pig feet, 

Onions and cabbage and sausage meat, 
Butter and flour and coffee also, 

Soap, pearline and Sapolio, 
Canned corn, tomatoes and saur kraut, 

Oh, I can't tell you all about 
The goods that's carried in this store — 

The best thing is for you to go. 

He operates a wagon or two, 

Your goods are promptly delivered to you 
No matter where may be your home, 

It's not too far for him to come. 
Mrs. Lizzie Dozier, his loving wife, 

The joy and pleasure of his life, 
You'll always find her at the store, 

But he is always on the go. 

If all the people on Enon Ridge, 

Between the K. C. and the Jonesville Bridge, 



iOO 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Would do their trading at Dozier's store, 

Like the Novelty Book Concern, he'd grow, 
And more than that, he'd surely rise 

To build a wholesale enterprise. 
We haev a right, when a Nigger starts 

To join unto him hands and hearts, 
And heads and feet and everything, 

And thus our whole support to bring. 

Co-operation with your brother (the black) 

Will disclose to you such astonishing facts 
That you'll have to take your pen and figger 

To find out whether you are a Nigger. 
This is not a call to aim, 

But another call, serene and calm, 
That you might see and hear today 

And heed the message without delay, 
All or some or any one of them 

W'ill help to solve the Negro problem. 



My Opinion of Mrs. Carrie A. Ttiggle 



I take great pleasure in introducing to you 

A lady who is known the whole country through, 

A lady whom we all know well, 

Who stands without a parallel — 

The greatest woman of the day; 

At least that's what the people say. 

Mrs. Carrie A. Tuggle, I beg to mention 

Some of her merits, you'll please give attention ; 

Now, to name all the good things this woman has done 
And to count them to you one by one, 

I'd just as soon ahve the job 

Of growing flowers on a china door knob. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



101 



As a Christian lady she stands very fair, 

On St. John's Church roll, her name's found there, 

To have her name there, that's not all, 

They tell me she answers at every roll call, 

Whether it's money or presence or aught 

Mrs. Carry A. Tuggle is never at naught. 

She's an ideal neighbor — I live near by, 

And to find a better I would not try ; 
So docile, so gentle, so meek and so kind, 

I fear that her equal you scarcely can find, 
By searching close and patiently 

From pole to pole or sea to sea. 

As a Lodge ruler I know of no one, 

In a few years have 'complished the work she has done, 
Returning victorious from many a struggle — 

The one I refer to is Carry A. Tuggle; 
She's Grand Worthy Counsel of the Calanthe, indeed, 

The Courts love to follow this woman's lead ; 
They follow this woman with undaunted will 

Like Roosevelt's Rough Riders up San Juan Hill. 

Some seven years ago to this office elected, 

Done 10 per cent more than the whole State expected, 
Although amid cannons that vollied and thundered 

She boldly marched onward like the faithful 600. 
Whenever you get a woman like this 

Who marchals our women in fields of pure bliss, 
You never should think of exchanging her place, 

She comes as a blessing to the whole Negro race. 

On August 1 6th in 1901, 

At Tuscaloosa her career begun, 
The Courts then numbered only fourteen 

And one convention was all to be seen, 
From 14 to 174 they went, 

By figures I find this 1200 oer cent. 



102 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Not being satisfied with gathering our women, 

But from pure milk she has now got the skimming, 
She's gathered our little ones — these she styles 

In another Court called Juveniles. 
I must dispute what patient Job says 

That a man on this earth has a very few days ; 
I don't fear to tell you my reason why 

Mrs. Carrie A. Tuggle will never die. 

On October 3rd, in nineteen-two, 

This woman did something that really is new, 
And Solomon doubtless would have meant fun 

When he said there was nothing new under the sun; 
Here's the exception to every rule — 

She brought in existence the Tuggle High School, 
Conducted in a way to please, 

Supported by the Calanthes. 

It's under excellent management — 

Mrs. Carrie A. Tuggle as president, 
With a lady more than ordinary — 

Mrs. Charlotte A. Proctor as secretary; 
With a man who is invincible — 

Mr. G. S. Murry, as principal, 
Who in the musical rudament 

Stands an impregnable monument. 

When this school opened in nineteen-two, 

It's wonderful how this great thing grew; 

To give the figures accurately, 

They started out with seventy-three, 

But mounting like an eagle they went 
To 235 — three hundred per cent. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



103 



Is this not a creditable thing? 

Does this not great honors bring? 
To this great establishment, 

And more unto its president? 
Here's something else I can't understand — 

They operate a little brass band 
Made up exclusively of little boys 

Who never was made of aught but noise. 

And yet when these little noisy boys 

With their music start a noise, 
From their horns and from their drum, 

From every quarter the other boys come, 
Some are laughing, others prancing, 

Some are cheering, others dancing; 
It really is an amusing thing 

To see the old lady take it in. 

CHARGE. 
"Courts of Calanthes I appeal to you, 

Stand by Carrie whatever you do; 
By your support the school can rise 

To Booker Washington's in size, 
And to every Pythian Knight — 

Stand by Tuggle, you have a right, 
Incumbent on you indeed to assister 

In F. C. and B. — she is your sister. 
And to all others I sound the alarm — 

Put flowers on her while her blood's running warm ; 
Indeed 'twould be a sin to save 

All those flowers for the Hero's grave. 

When passing from earth she will not need it, 

All you can say she cannot heed it, 
For when her spirit hath flown unto God, 

She will look to Him for her rest and reward, 
So now is the time to help Carrie Tuggle 

That she may conquer in every struggle; 
She'll not need flowers when she is gone, 

She needs them in life to help cheer her on. 



104 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



JOHN A GRIFFIN 

WatchmaKer and Jeweler 

I take great pleasure in introducing to you 

In the annals of history something new : 

Mr. John A. Griffen, to whom I refer, 
Is the only Watchmaker and Jeweler 

That I feel like holding up to my race, 
With all propriety and grace. 

I've had a watch quite sixteen years, 

I've carried it to other jewelers, 
And while to my duty I was about 

I found they'd stolen my jewels out: 
This was not done in Birmingham, 

Neither in the State of Alabam ; 
Listen now to what I say — 

"Twas done in Louisville, far away. 

With these grave thoughts rising in my mind 

I said I'd not stop till I find 
A place, though small or large or bigger 

To get my watch fixed by a Xigger. 
I'm glad to say in going around 

The place I longed for I have found, 
And the man that I've been looking for — 

"A Xegro "Watchmaker and Jewelor." 

The one I recommend to you 

You'll find him on Third Avenue, 
His number is seventeen-seventeen. 

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets between. 
Breastpine and earrings this man has (got) 

And buttons and scarf pins, a classified lot, 
Combs and brushes, watch chains and charms, 

And souvenirs in a dozen forms. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



105 



This man carries diamond pins, 

Rings and other odds and ends, 
Watches of the finest gold 

And cheaper than by others sold. 
If you cannot buy a watch that's new, 

He'll fix your old one nice for you. 
That in order you might know 

The time to arrive at the Little Book Store. 

The reason our people are always behind, 

By half way searching you will find 
That when the old watch needed fixin' 

They did not take it to John Griffen. 
Now here is my advice to you — 

From a heart that is both warm and true — 
Co-operation will make him rise 

To Tiffany of New York in size. 

In quoting what King Solomon says 

He told the truth of things in his days, 
But here comes the Negro under oppressions, 

Bearing (as it was) the world's transgressions, 
Amid grief and shame I've often told yer (you), 

Enduring hardness like a soldier, 
Amid all these hardships they rise 

To master their own enterprise. 

Oh, may my people take a thought. 

Take heed unto the lesson taught, 

Heed my message — co-operation — 

'Twill raise you to a higher station. 



106 



CO. OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



John's Place 

J. B. THOMAS. Proprietor 

I stands for Ice Cream — there is John's Place, 

("Specially prepared for the Negro race"), 
North Fourteenth Street, three hundred and nine — 

This place is fixed exceeding-fine: 
On entering in at either door 

You'll find linoleum on the floor, 
Beautiful paper on the wall, 

Beautiful pictures great and small. 

The beautiful fixtures there are found — 

Will doubtless turn all others down, 
And especially the way they fix their table — 

I'll try to describe it if I'm able: 
Five nice tables are there or more, 

Linens and napkins as white as snow, 
Silver spoons and cut glass dishes, 

Ready to supply your many wishes. 
If you'll abide by what I think 

They lead the town on a nice cold drink. 

A neat little place from side to border, 

Have a seat and give your order; 
Ice cream straight or lemonade, 

Or pound cake by their baker made; 
Or whether you want an ice cold soda, 

A lemon punch or coca cola, 
Or whether you want some ice cream cake, 

Or one of Birmingham's best milk shakes, 

Or anything along this line — 

At J. B. Thomas' place you'll find. 
He is also in the race 

With a parlor that's not second place. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



107 



Now this is the time that girls and boys 

Share with each other their mutual joys; 
I'm sorry to say that some in the dark 

Spend all their evenings at Traction Park. 
The Park is all right, but, oh, the disgrace 

It's sentiment moulds for the Negro race; 
Many a girl who had noble aim 

Through this Park has been brought to shame ; 
Hear me, thinking of the lady who goes 

To Traction Park 

I recommend Mr. Thomas' place, 

And point you to it with great grace; 
There's no safer place in all the world 

That a nice young man should take his girl; 
He has a great big graphophone, 

If you're by yourself you're not alone. 
For when that big thing starts to play 

It drives your anxious sorrow away. 

There's a new drink I've never seen 

Since in Birmingham I've been; 
What is this thing ? I asked the fellow, 

He said to me "This is Peach Mellow." 
I asked him what in the world was that? 

And where he got this new thing at? 
"From the Eagle Bottling Works on Enon Ridge, 

Not very far from the K. C. Bridge.". 

I asked Mr. Thomas was that a fact — 

That we have brothers — now in black — 

Manufacturing their own drinkings — 
Oh yes, said he, it's D. S. Jenkins; 

Or at least that's whom I understands 

Is running the plant on West Highlands. 



108 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



He carries cigars and tobaccoes too, 

On the side, as others usually do, 
He also has a barber shop 

And when you get there you should stop, 
Better let that man shave off that stubble, 

If you go home you'll get into trouble 
Your little wine trying to kiss — 

She'll bust you open wid her fis (t). 

Mr. R. M. Markes has the shop in charge, 

They were forced their business to enlarge 
And to their assistance another man came — 

Mr. T. L. Harris is his name; 
Their business grew and grew and grew, 

That they have a man to black your shoe, 
He knows his business at this game — 

Mr. Jimmie Hillman is his name. 

Miss Emma Berry, their faithful clerk, 

A single duty not known to shirk 
(Indeed she has a pleasant face) 

(And a'p leasing lady in a pleasant place) 
Leaves nothing undone that she can do 

To make an evening pleasant for you. 

Now if all the negroes on 14th street 

For an evening's pleasure would therse retreat 
This man would rise, or I feel so 

Equal to the little Book Store. 
And more than that he would surely rise 

To Warner's Ice Cream place in size. 

Co-operation with my friend 

Unto you I recommend 
Will press him out into larger quarters 

Get more work for our sons and daughters 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



109 



Here's my message to the letter 

"You cannot do a thing that's better" 
You cannot do a thing that's bigger 

Than do your trading with a Nigger. 



S6e Peoples Grocery Co. 



G. stands for groceries a fine thing indeed 

The one I shall mention is now in the lead, 
The Peoples Grocery Company 

Is as neat an affair as you ever did see 
This store belongs to no one man 

But's run on co-operation plan. 
I really think their plans are fair 

You pay ten dollars and take a share. 

Let the market fall or let it rise 

You are a part of this great enterprise 
They credit you to the amount of your share 

There's no way to loose what you put there. 
A safe method indeed this is — 

It's safer than the banking biz 
If a bank makes one hundred per cent 

You only get four on the money you lent. 
But if this goes to a hundred — too 

One hundred per cent comes b*ck to you. 

The People's Grocery Co., is a first class store 

It's a place where the people all should go 
I hereby beg to emphasize 

It's a strictly negro enterprise 
They are centrally located in our city 

And to pass them by ? 'Twould be a pity 
If for co-operation on the part of you 

The People's Grocery would fall through. 



110 



CO-OPEKATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Of course there is no danger of their falling through, 

"'Tis shown by the plans I have mentioned to you. 
But if all the negroes go there and trade 

They'd lay Fox Sons & Smith in the shade. 
They'd have to move into larger quarters 

And give more work to our sons and daughters 
This thing alone should inspire you to go 

And get all your grocers from the P. G. Store. 

They are at 312 North 18th street 

They keep everything you wish to eat 
Canned tomatoes, pork and beans, 

American and Imported sardines, 
They carry oysters, salmon and clams, 

I think they carry Swift's Premium hams. 
They carry cigars, tobaccos and snuff, 

Sorn and oats and other feed stuff 
Sugar and coffee and imported teas, 

Canned goods, asparagus and English peas. 
In a box on the floor they keep turnip greens 

Irish potatoes and lima beans 
Scouring mops with which to scrub, 

And many a different kind of tub. 

They carry a line of sasafras teas 

They also carry locks and keys 
They carry bacon, egsg and lard, 
And all kinds of spices in the pod.. 
Cocoa, currents and Cream of Wheat 

Dem folks down dar am hard to beat. 
Postum Cereals, Ginger Ale, 

And pickled pig feet all for sale. 
They carry a full supply of jams, 

Canned pig feet and deviled hams. 



THE SO-CALLED NPX5RO PROBLEM 



111 



Salt and soup and sapolios 

Axes too, and garden hoes, 
With which to chop down grass and weeds, 

On condition you buy from them your seeds. 
Don't think I've mentioned all their stock 

'Twould keep me regular as a clock. 
Writing from early morn till night 

And then, perhaps 'twould not be right. 

My friend, if you want a share, 

You certainly should take your trading there; 
It's you, oh, man ! that I'm addressing, 

'Twill be your friend when times are distressing; 
This store should be the Negros' pride, 

Fame should be spreaded far and wide ; 
And in these paths be found persuing, 

Let the world know what the negro is doing. 
The manager, Mr. P. D. Davis, is, 

The people all say he knows his biz, 
There's no better man in all the community, 

Or anywhere else you chance to go, 
Than he who manages this Grocery Store. 

Now just because he is a Nigger 
WV11 help him build a store that's bigger. 



Art Studio— A. M, De Yam pert. 

ART STUDIO— A. M. DEY AMPBRT. 
A stands for Art Studio — there is an expert, 

Gallery run by Mr. Dyampert ; 
W T hen on this man you wish to call, 

You'll find him in the Pythian Hall, 
Located on the second floor, 

His number is sixteen-twenty-four. 
Now, to make it plainer still for you, 

The hall is on Second Avenue. 



112 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Well equipped with modern fixtures, 

Upon their walls a hundred pictures, 
Finshed in the finest shades, 

And workmanship of the highest grades; 
No better studio will be. found 

In this or any other town. 
His gallery is a pleasing place— 

It speaks great things of the Negro race. 

Indeed 'twould be a very fine thing 

If all our people their forces would bring 
To A. M. Deyampert, 'twould make him rise 

To Gatchell's Studio in size. 
His place has carpets on the floor 

And a Smyrna rug right at the door, 
All kept clean and polished bright, 

All lit up by electric light. 

He frames your policies and photos too 

Better than most Art Studios do; 
You certainly should adopt this plan 

To bring all your work to a Negro man. 
When I walked into this man's hall, 

Whose photo saw I on the wall? 
Greek or Dutch or French or Jew? 

Neither of these — 'twas I and you. 

What do I mean by this to show? 

Now, here is the fact, I'd have you know : 
If you do not sustain your brothers, 

They will not be sustained by others. 
He enlarges photos, as other folks do; 

If you haven't got the money, he'll credit you. 
"It's better of course not to run on credit" — 

Prof. W. C. Davis is the man who said it. 



HON. J. O. DIFFAY 
Real Estate and Rental Agent 
Vice President Alabama Penny Saving Bank 
Proprietor Diffay Bros. Tonsorial Parlors 
Trustee and Member Building Committee Odd Fellow and Pythian Hall 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



113 



But if this man should credit you, 

This is the thing that you should do : 
When you get some money, I recommend it, 

If you can't go you should surely send it; 
We are under straightened circumstances, 

But now and then a Negro advances 

Foul and unjust propositions. 
To reach the goal he resolves to try; 

"There'll be no Alps," he seems to reply. 

He takes his medicine very calm, 

It reminds me of the twenty-third Psalm, 
And especially in the verse that said: 

"In the presence of an enemy a table is spread." 

Now, dear friend, our duty is 

That wherever a Negro starts up a biz, 
No matter where he is stationed at — 

Always be found standing pat. 



Eagle Bottling WorKs. 



B stands for Bottling Works — I'd have you know 

There's one on West Highlands and not any more, 
There are others a great deal bigger, 

But I know of no other that's owned by a Nigger, 
And if I owned a grocery store, 

There's no other place that I would go, 
Even to give a single order 

For any kind of soda water, 
Unless I strictly understand 

They didn't have it at West Highland. 



114 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Their outfit's sworn to be complete — 

Located on Cove and College Street; 
I walked into this plant one day — 

My eyes were dazzled right away: 
Barrels and boxes and bottles and bands 

In this plant at West Highlands. 
It's a pleasing sight indeed, you ought-to 

See dem Niggers make soda water. 
I simply make an appeal to you, 

Under the Sun, is this not new? 
To see a common Nigger rise 

To master such an enterprise? 

Coming up through hard tribulations, 

Besetments too and aggrivations, 
The smallest end of all propositions, 

The biggest end of all oppositions. 
Having for breakfast grief and shame, 

Dinner and supper meals the same, 
Bearing (as it was) the whole world's burden, 

How can he cross the river of Jordan? 
Yet amid all these crosses they rise 

To master their own enterprise. 

I'm addressing now the groceryman — 

I'd have you also understand 
If you want the people to follow you, 

I've shown you the thing for you to do; 
You should start your work out now 

By showing the consumer the way and how, 
If you expect co-operation 

To raise you to a higher station. 

I know there is no Nigger that carries such stuff 
As flour and sugar, tobacco and snuff 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



115 



And hams and bacon and soda crackers 

And cheese and eggs and smoking tobaccoes, 
From whom you can exclusively buy — 

I've better sense than tell you to try, 
But there is a man making soda water, 

And you have a right, indeed you ough-to 
Go there and give him all of your trade, 

'Twill be one right step you have made. 

If you're no better than any one else, 

We'll say "Physician, heal thyself, 
And cast the beam out of thine eye 

Before the mote from thy brother try." 
It's in your hands to . make them rise 

And reach the goal — the longed-for prize. 
If you'll do what you ought to do, 

We'll do the same great thing for you, 
But we will not cast a stone for a stone; 

We'll fight the battle if all alone. 

Forth with the pressing to .do our part, 

Doing the right with hand and heart, 
Looking to God, our Christ, our King, 

Marching onward as we ,sing — 
"Farther on the way will brighten," 

Feeling that God our burdens will lighten, 
And that other people real soon may 

Look at a Nigger in another way. 

Co-operation will make him rise 

To Schillinger's Great Big Plant in size; 
You have a right to pull for him — 

He's in the race with all of them. 
In my opinion you have a right 

To stand by this man day and night. 
Take my suggestions, all or some of them — 

They'll aid you in solving the Negro Problem. 



116 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



lofye Union Drug' Co. 

DR. D. L. JOHNSTON, Proprietor 



D stands for Drug Store — they're are so multiplied, 

Both on the North and on the South Side, 
That I don't think I can justify 

All of them, even though I try; 
But aside from the others, I'd have you to know 

That the pioneer is the Union Drug Store; 
601 makes the address complete — 

Corner of F and Eighteenth Street. 

Dr. D. L. Johnston, I'd have you know, 

Is the proprietor of the Union Drug Store. 
When to this store you enter in 

You'll find it kept neat like a pin, 
From the rear end to the door 

You'll find linoleum on the floor — 
Glasses and brass all polished bright, 

Lit up by electric light, 
Beautiful pictures on the wall, 

Reflecting beauty to all who call. 

He has a soda fountain there 

As nice as any anywhere, 
Drinks from this I freely own 

Are not surpassed in the frigid zone, 
For they, of course I'd have you see, 

Are just as cold as ice can be; 
A better fount will not be found, 

No matter where you gad around. 

He keeps ice cream of the highest grade, 
And right inside the store it's made — 

Strawberry cream and ice cream soda, 
Lemonade and coco cola ; 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



117 



I think the city record he breaks, 

And most especially on milk shakes. 
There's no other place that I can tell 

Where you'll be treated half so well, 
No matter where you chance to go, 

Than you are treated at Johnston's Store. 

(Now just a word to the girls and boys 

Who share with each other their mutual joys) — 
This is the season when young men all 

Are fond of paying the ladies a call, 
They often stroll out for a look — 

But better known as an evening walk; 
Some go right and some go wrong, 

In a number of places they don't belong; 
Some go strolling after dark 

Away out yonder to Traction Park, 
Walking out upon the green, 

(I hope this line you can read between). 

Now the Park in itself is innocent, 

But oh ! the disgraceful sentiment 
It moulds for the entire Negro race — 

Ruin and ultimate disgrace; 
Many a girl who started all right 

Through this Park has won a blight, 
Instead of winning a noble name 

They've only won eternal shame. 
Colored girl, I appeal to you — 

Traction Park will never do, 
By your acts you bring disgrace, 

Ruin and same to the Negro race. 

I point with pride to the Union Drug Store 
As a place where you can safely go 



115 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



And sit beneath the 'lectric light, 

By doing this, we know you're right. 

Dr. Johnston, I'm glad to tell, 

Has spared no pains to make all well 

For you whenever you leave your home 

For an evening's pleasure and to him come. 

He carries purely vegetable pills 

Which play sad havoc with all the ills 
Which the human family are subject to, 

Warranted to effect a complete cure. 
Go there and get prescriptions filled, 

(Between you and I) you can have them billed, 
If you have not got the money in hand, 

You pay him when you get it — understand? 



If I lived down on Eighteenth Street, 

With all my 'scriptions I'd there retreat, 
Where I can get them properly filled 

And as an act of mercy, have 'em billed. 
You have no idea what you miss 

Whenever you pass a place like this, 
'Specially prepared for the Negro race 

And waited on with so much grace ; 
Co-operation with this store 

Would raise him up — or I feel so ; 
There is no limit to how he'd rise — 

He'd man a wholesale enterprise. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



119 



DAVENPORT (EL HARRIS 



I take much pleasure in telling you 

We've an ideal establishment to be sure 
Whose outfits are perfect, fixtures complete 

At two twenty-four North Eighteenth Street. 
As funeral directors they're in the lead, 

And finished embalmers they are indeed; 
It's useless, friend, of going further, 

For I assert, there's not another 
Establishment found anywhere 

That with this firm can well compare. 

Fine linoleum .on the floor, 

Several rugs inside the door, 
Cases and fixtures polished bright, 

All lit up by electric light. 
Another fact, I gladly own, 

You call 'em on either telephone, 
Your message received, there's no delay, 

They every single order obey. 
When these, my friends, you once have tried 

You always will be satisfied. 

But they, of course I'd have you know, 

Are a firm who are exceeding slow ; 
They are the crudest men I've ever known, 

I'm sorry indeed the fact to own. 
Why, when you've been sick for many a day 

Davenport & Harris still stay away, 
And as long as you linger in this sad case 

You'll never see Harris & Davenport's face. 

But as soon as the time comes for you to go 

And join all your friends on that happy shore, 



120 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Where fields are arrayed in living green, 

Then Davenport & Harris can be seen; 
Promptly on hand these two men are 

With their magnificent funeral car, 
Rubber muffled are the wheels, 

As quietly down the road it steals, 
Until it halts before your door 

To carry you off to come no more — 
A nice velvet box to carry you off in 

Some six feet long (better known as a coffin). 

They put you in that thing to stay, 

And screw the top down right away; 
Indeed I am in serious doubt 

If they ever unscrew it to let you out. 
They tell me that the saints will rise 

And some day rend the valuted skies, 
And reap for their reward of their labors of love 

In the paridistical regious above. 
But the way Mr. Harris lowers you down 

And covers you up underground 
It seems to me that these folks try 

To keep you from going to the sky. 

"A little nonsense now and then 

Is relished by the best of men," 
And less you'll not be standing pat 

I 'speck I'd better tell you just where I'm at. 
These folks keep a first class place, 

They're also men of the Negro race; 
The truth of the entire matter is 

They're unsurpassed in their line of biz, 
I therefore cheerfully recommend 

These undertakers, they're my friend. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



121 



Davenport & Harris, I freely own, 

As funeral directors they stand alone, 
They're very polite and courteous to all 

who have their sorrows and on them call. 
Now friends, whenever a Nigger man 

Rises up and takes a stan' 
With the other great men of our city, 

To pass him by — 'twould be a pity. 

They prepare the remains of anyone, 

Whether the father or mother or son, 
Whether the husband or wife or brother, 

Secret order men or any other, 
With the greatest pride and utmost care 

They convey them for you anywhere, 
They do their business to the letter — 

A number of miles to one that's better, 
No matter where you chance to go, 

From Maine to the Gulf of Mxeico. 

We point to this great firm with pleasure, 

Bounding upward without measure, 
And we as Negroes should support 

Messrs. Harris & Davenport 
By our sole co-operation 

These men would rise to a higher station, 
Bounding onward they would grow 

Something like the Little Book Store, 
Fleeting onward they would swell 

To a summit which I cannot tell. 
Indeed their equal could not be found 

In this or any other town. 
No matter what or where it is 

'Twould not surpass these Negroes' biz. 



122 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



WELCOME ADDRESS 



Delivered by Ben P. Fowlkes to the Knights of Pythias, Sunday, 

March 29, 1907, at Shiloh Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala. 
Master of Ceremonies, Past Grand Chancellors, Grand Chan- 
cellors, Officers and Members of the Various Lodges Assem- 
bled, Grand Jurisdiction of Alabama, Supreme Jurisdiction 
Knights of Pythias, N. A., S. A., B. A. A. and A. — Greeting: 
It is with much pleasure that I stand before this distinguished 
body of Grand and Subordinate Officers and Members for the 
purpose of extending you a welcome in behalf of the Shiloh 
Baptist Church. 

I find myself laboring under a very hard problem. My 
connection with this church and with one of the lodges assem- 
bled here places me in a very awkward position on the one hand 
and on the other hand I talk of myself, and in extending to the 
Knights a welcome to this our church I am forced to welcome 
myself, and if I say too much about the lodges — one might say 
self-praise — "Oh wretched state!" 

When therefore such thoughts as there get into a man's 
mind it greatly impedes his power of delivery. 

Therefore, if through the burden of these thoughts I fail 
to make you feel perfectly welcome, I hereby covenant with you 
to accept all the mistakes to myself. But rest assured that Shiloh 
feels highly honored to have you assembled here. 

We have read of you very carefully, every phase of your 
work has been thoroughly considered, every heroic deed has been 
carefully noted and finding no fault worthy of mentioning our 
unanimous decision is that you represent the highest type of man- 
hood and true patriotism and are fit subjects for admission 
into any congregation. 

However, there are some churches which labor under a mis- 
taken identity in regard to secret organizations and of course there 
is an organization which Shiloh does not favor. That organi- 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



123 



zation whose meeting night is not known, whose object and aim 
are shrouded in mystery, which never unfurl its banners to 
the world, whose time and place are buried in obscurity. This 
is the one kind of secret organization which Shiloh detests. 

But that organization whose banner is unfurled to the world, 
which pleads guilty to the charge of charitable deeds, acknowl- 
edging that they have no higher aim and ambition in life than 
to raise up the standard of manhood and morality. Amply pro- 
viding for the protection of widows and orphans, and last, having 
love for your pivot around which your assembly revolves. 

To such an organization the doors of Shiloh fly wide. 

We learn that in this organization you have men who fill 
every vocation or avenue in life, from the banker behind the 
counter to the bootblack on the street, from the professor in the 
schoolroom to the man behind the plow, all of whom are enrolled 
under your banner, wearing the garb of true Pythian Knight- 
hood. Uplifting and fostering the cause of true manhood and 
instill principles which redound to the ultimate good of the race. 

With these things in view, we welcome you. 

Even in these local lodges here, we learn that 
you have lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, teachers, black- 
smiths, electricians, and a host of other professionals too 
numerous to mention. This fact alone brings us a deal of pleas- 
ure and cause us to look upon you in a way as never before. We 
learn that you have a large and generous heart, and in the dis- 
tribution of charities you take an active part. 

If these qualities are true of your honorable body, if these 
are really facts and not fiction, you are citizens of no mean city. 
You are traveling upon the King's highway. You have not only 
our welcome but our prayers that you may make the voyage suc- 
cessfully, and lastly, when your mission on earth is over that 
you may receive a more desirable welcome into the paradistical 
regions above, where password, grip and sign will not be needed. 
There you can bathe your weary soul in the seas of heavenly 
rest. 



124 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Sir Knights, words are inadequate to express the welcome 
that we bestow for the pleasures you bring us. We deplore 
very much that we cannot find standing room for all of this great 
host. When we look upon you and see the condition of affairs, 
we are inspired to build another edifice that will hold you and 
your sister and your cousin and your aunt. 

Now, to get a better idea of the welcome extended ot you, 
we invite you to look upward to the open expanse above, and 
I being chosen for the occasion, declare that this alone symbolizes 
the room or welcome that yet remain in the hearts of the people 
of Shiloh. We welcome you to our pews, to enjoy our music, 
to our ice water (since prohibition is effective), to look at our 
beautiful lights. 

We also have 500 of the best and prettiest young women 
and girls in the city. You are perfectly welcome to these only 
while these ceremonies last. We have not one of the best, but 
the best preacher in the country. We are all stirred up over the 
fact that another church has called him, but we tell him not to 
answer. I know that when he delivers your sermon, you are 
likely to call him. But, lo ! I have told you he's not going to 
answer. 

Sir Knights, we are always glad to have you assemble here. 
You bring sunshine, joy and pleasure. You are known by your 
many good deeds and your works do follow you. Your effect- 
uality is felt very much along the line of charity and especially 
the Old Folks' and Orphans' Home and the Boys' Reformatory. 
But, sad to say, we as a church having learned that some of your 
members have not accepted the plans of salvation, cannot feel 
that we have discharged our duty along that line. Therefore 
we have chosen ten of the choicest young ladies in our church 
to give you a real lecture in Christian culture that may farther 
impress you with the welcome that awaits you in the hearts of 
the people of Shiloh. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 125 



WELCOME 



W — henever you come to Shiloh Church 
For your annual celebration, 
Each heart goes out to welcome you 

With little hesitation. — Miss Eugenia Jackson. 

E — ach year you bring us pleasure 

As you march into our walls, 
But we wish to ask you gently, 

Have you heard the Master's calls? — Miss Pearlie Hill. 

E — o ! take heed to the message, 

Work together in peace and love, 
If at last you hope to anchor 

In the realms of bliss above —Miss Hattie Burgess. 

C — hrist has suffered to redeem you, 

You should heed it one and all, 
There's another place of meeting 

More important than your hall. — Miss Cora Baker. 

O — h ! it's much more to be chosen 

Than the password, grip and sign 
1 When you come to cross the Jordan 

And your life on earth resign. — Miss Emma Burgess. 

M — ay you hear the welcome plaudit 
Uttered by the blessed Son, 
When your mission here is ended 

And your race on earth is run. — Miss Elnora Loftin. 



E — nter now into the mansion 

And the blessings of your Lord; 



126 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Thou hast fought an earnest battle, 

Thou art subject to reward. — Miss Nellie Patterson. 

K— ings and princes' days are numbered; 
They're no more than you or I, 
For without the love of Jesus 

Kings and princes too must die. — Miss Willie Thomas. 

• 

Of — all kingdoms of the earth 

And of all denominations, 

And soon will change their stations. — Miss Susie Moss. 

They are living on the river's brink 
P — ythian Knights, oh ! heed the message 

That the Saviour came to save, 
Never mind 'bout heaping flowers 

High upon your brother's grave. 
Place some flowers on your brother 

While his blood is running warm, 
So that when he comes to Jordan 

He can cross while it is calm. — Miss Mattie Mitchell. 

THE BESSEMER TRIBUNE 

I take much pleasure in giving my views 

Of a leading paper which has the news 
Just as they happen day by day 

In a business maner and not like play. 
The Bessemer Tribune, the one I shall name, 

Is rapidly pushing its way to fame, 
Bringing fresh news from all aroun' 

From every city, hamlet or town. 

She's under first-class management, 
With W. B. Smith as president, 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



127 



A man who's sworn he'll never res' 

Until he shoves her to success, 
To bring The Tribune where it is 

He doubtless must have known his biz. 
Since the strike is affecting us every one 

By reading this paper, you'll know what's done, 
Although it be in the darkest of night, 

Or under the canopy in broad daylight, 
Whether through week or Sabbath day, 

You get the full truth right away, 
All of its records are plain and true — 

"The Bessemer Tribune is the best for you." 

Mr. Frank Scruggs is the editer (or), 

He's also assistant manager — 
A competent man indeed he is, 

Who knows what to do in the paper biz. 
Now, that which Smith & Scruggs can't do 

Is really not worth referring to, 
The news of churches and lodges and shows, 

Hotels, cafes and first-class stores, 
The news of buildings and business display, 

Such as the Negroes are building each day, 
The other old papers you all should refuse 

And take The Tribune which has all the news. 

It is now my lot and profound pleasure 

Coming to me without measure 
To introduce to you a lady of fame 

Who plays a good part in The Tribune's game — 
A lady who's more than ordinary 

As corresponding Secretary, 
A lady of whom I love to write, 

Which brings unto me great edlight. 
With no reluctance this fact I own(s), 

The one I refer to's Miss Velma Jones, 



128 



CO. OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



A lady whose name I love to call, 
Well spoken of by one and all. 

'Tis she who keeps the business glowing — 

I think this fact is well worth knowing. 

Mr. N. C. Woods, I wish to tell, 

The field circulation he manages well; 
Subscribe for this paper, you've nothing to fear, 

As long as Woods is manager. 
You have a right and you should choose 

The Bessemer Tribune for the latest news. 
You'll never be found in your right place 

Unless you patronize your race. 

I know there are papers richer and bigger 

Than the humble ones run by a Nigger; 
I know the busy little newsboys 

Cut up and make a mighty noise ; 
Since the panic and strike are on 

They ever hello, anon anon — 
"Here's your paper, Birmingham News," 

(They hope, of course, you'll not refuse.) 

"All about the strike at the mines !" 

"All about the collision of two engines !" 
"All about the Democratic campaign!" 

"Bryan nominated once again !" 
"All about the gamblers being pinched !" 

"All about a Nigger just been lynched !" 
"All about a fire in a big hotel !" 

It really takes Old Nick to tell— 
They have so many a-this and that 

Till the air resounds their noisy chat. 

You'll get the same in the Bessemer Tribune, 
But somewhat modified in tune. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



129 



If you want the truth, to The Tribune go, 

You're not 'bliged to tell him— 'I said so." 
You have a right to patronize 

And build your own race enterprise. 
Co-operation in this case 

Would raise this paper up in has'e; 
Their business would be so complete, 

No similar business could compete 
With them, no matter where you chance to go — 

From New Orleans to Baltimore. 

Co-operation with them, my friend, 

I cheerfully beg to recommend, 
Would press them out in every quarter 

Like the Pacific's peaceful water; 
They could rise and take a stan(d) 

With other great plants in the land. 
Our sons and daughters would have a place 

Which they helped build for their own race. 
Help your brother when climbing a hill, 

Even if sadly against your will. — Ex. 23-4. 

Peoples Investment &, BanKing Company 



B— stands for banks, they come as a blessing 

And a soothing balm when times are distressing; 

A fine institution is now begun — 

Is there really nothing new under the sun? 

The People's Investment and Banking Co. 

Plas a man at the helm who'll make it go; 
He quickly ascended the mountain of fame — 

Mr. W. L. Lauderdale is his name. 



130 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



A few years ago he scarcely was known, 

It's remarkable how his business has grown. 
Why, what he has done in the last year, my, oh ! 

Outstrips anything this side of Ohio. 

The following remarks, you will please take heed, 

They'll lend you all the money you need 
To build a mansion, a cottage, or tent, 

And you pay them back like paying rent. 
They'll borrow your money like other banks do 

And pay you 6 per cent, interest too. 

For fear you'll not be standing pat, 

'Speck I'd better tell you where they're at — 

Seventeen twenty-seven's their number complete, 

Third avenue, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets. 

Since the whole race is pron to wander 
And their cash are known to squander. 

This appeals to every one of the race, 

(But I must acknowledge we're hard to case, 
Nominative case ? We seldom act, 
Possessive case? Too much we lack, 
Objective case? Seems to be a fact.) 

Carry your money to Lauderdale's place, 

Bring it or send it or lend it — they're Niggers, 
We'll make 'em write it with seven figgers. 

Money placed into their vault 
Will laugh ha ! ha ! at the bandit's assault. 

He'll find he has a very hard problem 
On his hand if he tries to rob them. 

He'd find this business wouldn't pay, 
He'd seek other employment right away, 

Condoling himself of this great sin, 
And find a job more money is in. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



131 

• 



These things are not said to tickle you, 

But simply because they're really true. 
Another fact I've failed to mention — 

(I beg you all to give attention), 
There is another great establishment 

With Dr. Lauderdale as President — 
The Great Southern Home Association 

Of late's created a great sensation. 
Why, so many iron safe's are there 

If a burglar broke in he'd not know where 
To find the money — if he wanted to rob 

He'd get discouraged and give up the job. 

These safes are another kind of problem, 

'Twould take a number of burglars to solve' em, 
To find out where their money is 

That rascal sure would know his biz. 
The Great Southern Home, please bear in mind 

Excels anything, sir, of its kind, 
Its insights keener than a bramble briar — 

There's nothing like it this side of Ohio 
"But the Little Book Store." 

They own the building in which they dwell, 

For the entire race this thing speaks well. 
I'm constitutionally opposed to slang — 

I hope you'll not place me along in this gang, 
But I want to beg you to indulge me a minute — 

"There never was a day when Lauderdale wasn't in it." 
We have our crosses, our ups and our downs, 

We have our sorrows, but if we want our crowns. 
Whenever a Negro man starts up a hill 

You've sure got to help him if against your own will. 

Exodus 23 and 24. 



132 * CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



This building is indeed a unique affair, 

With ten or twelve colored girls all working there; 
If the people will help me to build a big store 

I'll sure give employment to that many more. 
Now, the second floor is the office apartment 

Of the Great Southern Home Industrial Department. 
On the second floor, at the head of the stair 

Dr. W. L> Council's office is there. 

I think he is a graduate of Meharry, 

But I know he's an extraordinary 
Physician; my reason for saying so is 

In a sick room, sir, he knows his biz; 
For when the sick to him apply 

The chances are they'll not die, 
But stand upon their feet like men, 

Restored to perfect health again. 

The next to Council is the Rev. Wells, 

Who (according to what the paper tells), 

Is an ideal man in an ideal place — 

Feeding the Gospel to the Negro race. 

Through a paper known as the Baptist Leader — 
It comes as a blessing to every reader. 

Brimming full of the latest news — 

Not only of Baptistic views, 
But carrying all issues that pertain 

To the Savior on Mount Calvary slain, 
That we from earth to bliss may rise 

To that blest mansion in the skies. 

To this whole race it is a creditor 

And C. M. Wells, their faithful editor, 
Is exerting exery energy and nerve, 

He's sure to shove it around the curve. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



183 



The two rear offices up that stair 

Have something perfectly new up there — 

The greatest secret order of the age 

Was birthed and placed upon the stage — 

The U. S. & D. of the G. S. H. T 
Is equal to any fraternity. 

As F mnot familiar with all their biz, 

And for fear I can't tell it just as. it is, 
I leave off saying and simply invite 

That to C. M. Wells, Chief Ruler you write, 
You'll always find him in his station, 

Ready to give all information 
In language and tone exceedingly simple 

Concerning the Great Southern Home Temple. 

Don't read this book to find some fault 

That you the author might assault, 
But study its signs and symbols, friend, 

'Twill solve the problem in the end. 
Three cheers again for Lauderdale — 

Indeed a friend who'll never fail; 
For what he has done in the last year, my, oh ! 

Eclipses anything this side of Ohio. 

Xri-State Order of Beneficiaries 

J. H. Marquis, President. 



I take great pleasure in naming to you 

Something that doubtless must be new, 

The mightiest society known to the age 

Has recently marched out on the stage. 

She's under excellent management 

With Mr. J. H. Marquis as President, 



134 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



A man I say with all impunity 

Loved by all in the whole community. 

An ideal man Mr. Marquis is 

And of his work he knows his biz. 

I also point to you with pleasure, 

A gentleman whom we all treasure, 
A gentleman, I love to tell, 

Who always does his business well, 
Mr. I. C. McCafferty, to whom I refer, 

Is Secretary and Manager. 
July nineteen and seven, I'm told, 

Was the date when they assumed control. 

Their business is growing at such a rate 

Very soon they are going into Georgia State. 
If they will only hold their pace 

And continue true to the men of their race, 
I wish to say to the colored man — 

I truly hope you'll form a plan 
And work the plan with all your might, 

To stand by your color both day and night. 
Xo matter where they chance to go 

The Tri- State order will surely grow. 

I would distinctly have you see 

That none can write a policy for me, 
Xo matter how high his wealth might figger, 

Unless the writer was a Xigger. 
I hope the Xegros will see this thing 

And straightway their assistance bring 
To their struggling brothers' enterprise, 

'Twill be one step they've made that's wise. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



135 



I point with pride to the Tri-State Order, 

The way she's coming, we all should laud 'er, 
We should not wait, but now begin 

To put ourselves and children in. 
If information is what you seek, 

You can carry a five cents policy a week, 
For a five cents policy, just behold ! 

You get $1.50 per week, I'm told. 
Since that time she's been a-growing 

And these two men will keep her a-going, 

And in this great establishment 

You carry from five to fifty cents, 
Your benefits mount upward then 

From a dollar and a half on up to ten; 
The nickels and dimes you throw away 

On worthless pleasures every day 
Would drive away many a tear 

When you have lost your husband dear. 

Or wife or daughter, or sister or brother, 

Or some one of your folks or the other. 
To lose your folks, of course that's sadness, 

But a little money coming will sure bring gladness, 
And you, of course, will not be found 

With a begging list going all around, 
When some of your folks are called from mirth 

To go the way of all the earth. — 1st Kings, 2-2. 

I'm also glad to inform you — 

Miss Mattie McGuire, to be sure, 
A lady who is loved by all, 

And just the same by great and small, 
Who in her certain line of work 

A single duty not known to shirk, 



136 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



A lady above the ordinary, 

She is their Local Secretary. 

So, friends, I feel that the time is now, 

We should stand by the Nigger man anyhow. 
We send our children off to school, 

(There's little exception from the rule), 
When«back they come a while to stay 

We've nothing for them to do but play. 
Friend, if you'll build up your race 

You build up for your child a place, 
And straightway then he can go forth 

And not always be on the loaf ; 
Co-operation is my plea, 

'Twill work great wonders for you and me. 

MAJESTIC SHOE COMPANY 



S — stands for shoes — the Majestic Shoe Store 
Is open for business I'd have you all know; 

No shoddy affair, but a first-class place, 

It comes as a blessing to the whole colored race. 

Now, I do not know the size of this store, 

Nor the height from the ceiling down to the floor, 

In fact, I'm not at all bothered with these, 

But give me your attention a minute, please. 

We've many suggestions, but which one of them 
Will aid in solving the Negro Problem? 

Leave it with the writer, he firmly replies — 
"Build up your own race enterprise." 

The Majestic carries a complete line of shoes, 

And many a style from which you can choose— 



THE SO-CALLED NEGEO PROBLEM 



137 



Box calf, vici or a cork sole shoe, 

Dongola, kid or a kangaroo, 
Oxblood, tan or patent leather, 

All warranted to stand the weather. 
It's no use, friends, to go elsewhere, 

You'll find the shoe you want right there. 

No matter what your number be, 

They'll fit your foot assuredly; 
You wear a number eleven shoe? 

They have something there too large for you. 

So any shoe you may desire — 

They're lower in price and quality higher. 
We'll try to make this enterprise lead, 

It's a store for years we've stood in need. 

I hope our people will see the point 
And form themselves into a joint 

Committee, and whatever they do 

Will wear on their foot a Majestic shoe. 

(Now, concerning the Negro question), 
I hereby beg to make a suggestion) : 

Their store is a neat and spacious one, 

They've broken all records since they begun. 

Go there, friend, and get your shoe, 

You'll find them on Third Avenue, 

For quite a while they there have been — - 
Their number is seventeen and nineteen. 

Whatever your taste may be in a shoe, 
This is a thing they've known to do. 

No matter how large your foot, they'll fit it, 

If it's not in their stock they'll go out and git it. 



138 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I hope you'll not usurp the time 

To read this book because of the rhyme, 

But study its signs and symbols, friend, 
'Twill solve the Problem in the end. 

Indeed it does reflect great credit, 

(There're others besides myself who've said it), 
To have in our city a colored shoe store 

Where our wives and daughters can safely go. 

What do I mean by safely go? 

I take it for granted that you all know. 
Satisfied indeed I am 

That there's no bear in Birmingham, 
But there are others, we all know well, 

But modesty fails to let me tell. 

Oh ! may our people form a unit, 

I've worded the song, 'tis yours to tune it. 

No matter how the cut may go 

Carry your feet to the Nigger Shoe Store. 

They're glad of the pleasure of waiting on you, 

Contrary to the way all others do, 
They take pleasure in seating you down 

Till your right number can be found, 
And with no carnal thought in view 

They gently fit them on for you. 

They realize just who you are 

And who it is they're working for, 
And for your daughter they feel it an honor 

And pleasure to fit the shoe upon her. 

Oh! that my people would see this theme! 

Oh ! may they continue no longer to dream ! 



TH3 SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



139 



But heed the call at once, be wise, 

And build up the Negro enterprise. 

Mr. S. J. Fountain manages this store, 
It's there you have a right to go 

And get your sshoes, for he's a nigger, 

We'll make him move to a building bigger. 

BIG FOUR 



B — stands for barbers, I'd have you know 

That the queen of the South Side is known as Big Four, 
Centrally located, hard to beat, 

No. 22 South Twentieth Street. 
Mr. L. W. Harris owns this shop 

And when you get there you should stop 
And get a hair cut, shave and shine 

And go no farther up the line. 

So well equipped is this great firm 

That there's no waiting for your turn, 
For always ready a barber is 

To put your whiskers out of biz. 
His shop is fixed up neat and clean 

And eight fine barbers there are seen, 
And eight fine chairs to greet the eye 

Of everyone who passes by. 

Every morning the floor he scrubs, 

He carries hot and cold bath tubs, 
These tubs are kept filled with nice, clean water, 

I think his charges are a quarter 
For a hair cut, dime for a shave, 

Five cents a shine and a quarter a bathe. 



140 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



The shop has a record of shaving you 

In half the time that others do, 
The whole truth of the matter is — 

They have no equal in the whisker biz. 
I would not pass by Harris' place 

With all them whiskers on my face, 
When you go home to see your wife 

She'd not kiss you to save your life. 

My friend, John Brown, works at Big Four, 

He's first to the right inside the door, 
An ideal man this gentleman is — 

He's a graduate at the whisker biz. 
The next man working at his side 

Is J. H. Perry, true and tried, 
He has indeed a pleasant face, 

He allows no whiskers in that place. 
The next man now on Perry's side 

I point to this young man with pride — 
A tonsorialist of unequalled fame, 

Mr. Thomas Turner is his name. 

Is a man who is exceeding hot, 
The next I'll name among the lot 
His chair is next to Thomas Turner, 

He's widely known as Whisker Burner. 
You ought to see him use his tool, 

He cuts your hair off by the rule. 
This gentleman he owns the place, 

He always carries a pleasant face, 
A perfect man, free from all blame- 
Mr. L,. H. Harris is his name. 

The first to the left inside the door 
Is another fellow who is not slow. 



THE SO CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 1 



141 



He thinks you've badly disbehaved 

To leave his place and not be shaved. 
He lays against you all this blame — 

Mr. E. D. Roger is his name. 
The next man now at Rogers' side 

Is a man who's never satisfied 
As long as you hold to your cash, 

Not letting him shave your long mustache. 
If you don't, he's contrary in all his ways — 

This gentleman's name is Robert Grays. 

The next man now to Robert Grays 

Is a man of very winning ways, 
So pleasant, so docile, so gentle is he 

When you enter his door he's sure to get busy ; 
Shave or hair cut with him's all the same, 

And Mr. Foster is his name. 

The next man now at Foster's side 

Is a barber who's known far and wide. 
You'll always find this young man working, 

You'll never find this young man shirking. 
He's a finished man in the whisker game, 

Mr. C. S. Malory is his name. 

THE BIRMINGHAM PLUMBING CO. 

Strickland & Decatur, Proprietorss. 



I'm indeed glad to let you know 

We've another Negro Plumbing Co. 

Strickland & Decatur, I present to you, 
Do first-class work, as others do. 

It's a first-class firm in a first-class place— 

They give much credit to the Negro race. 



142 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Ideal plumbers, I freely own, 

Using the best — the People's 'phone. 
Don't leave home when you want work done, 

But 'phone 'em — seventy (one) forty-one; 
In less time than it takes to relate 

Their messenger's standing at your gate. 
When once your work these people do 

You'll let no others work for you. 

Their workmen when they leave the shop 

They do not, like the others, stop 
And trifle off their time away 

And present their loafing for you to pay. 
They're so delighted to get your work 

They really don't take time to shirk. 
In repair work and practical plumbing 

These young men are surely coming. 
Not only do work for the Nigger man, 

But the best white people in the lan' 
Employ these people, because they know 

This is a first-class Plumbing Co. 

For instance, I mention Mr. C. W. Streit, 

They did his work up so complete 
And in the finest kind o' style, 

Up-to-date — in a little while. 
Solicitor Aird, I'm glad to tell, 

They did his work so very well 
They tell me that Solicitor Aird 

Straightway thereupon declared 
That other work he wanted done 

The Birmingham Plumbing Co.'d be the one. 

There are others which I cannot name 

Who'll help sustain these plumbers' fame. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



143 



If you want bath tubs fixed to date 

And placed in at a rapid rate, 
If you want hot or else cold water, 

You only have to give the order, 
And before you can turn the water on 

Their work's complete and they are gone. 

Another creditable job is foun' 

At the residence of A. M. Brown, 
Down on Fifth, near Mortimer Street, 

Dr. Brown declares that job's complete. 
To the whole race it great honor brings 

To have Nigger plumbers to do such things. 
We as a race should all be proud 

And raise our voices and cry aloud, 
And stand together that others may 

See the Nigger another way. 

This thing surely can be done 

By standing together all as one, 

Firmly pressed and packed together 
Not regarding windy weather ; 

If all the Negroes this thing do 

No doubt 'twill surely carry 'em through. 

To co-operate with this grand firm 

'Twould not be a very long term 
Before these men would rise and stand 

With no superior in the land. 
You'd press them out and they would grow 

Something like the Little Book Store. 

And take the whole world by surprise. 
And more than that they'd surely rise 



144 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OP 



SEE OH, SEE THE NEGRO ! 



Coming up through hard tribulations, 

Besetments, too, and aggrevations, 
The biggest end of all oppositions, 

The smallest end of all propositions ! 
Having for breakfast grief and shame, 

Dinner and supper, meals the same, 
Bearing as it was the whole world's burden, 
How can he cross the River of Jordan? 

The picture of a ship when tossed by a wave, 

Each moment threatening a watery grave, 
No solid foundation their feet could hol(d), 

But Jesus the Master has full control. 
It's the hand of God that makes them rise, 

To master their own enterprise. 

If the Negro under these circumstances can manage to set 
up an enterprise, though it be on Yonders Mountain, the other 
Negroes have a right to concentrate their financial forces there. 
However, we are glad to rejoice that, notwithstanding, like Atlas, 
with the world on his back. 

Now and then a Negro advances 

Under adverse circumstances, 
Amid grief and shame he's often told you, 

Enduring hardness like a good soldier. 
The way the Negro stands the storm — 

It reminds one of the twenty-third Psalm, 
Verse five, specially where it's said — 

"In the presence of thine enemy a table is spread." 

The author has endeavored through the pages of this book 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



145 



to show, not as he was forty years ago, but to show the Negro 
as he is today. He endeavors to show the Negro as a patriotic 
ctitzen and not as the brute he is often declared. 

He endeavors to show the Negro as having bought a horse 
as well as having stolen one. 

With an O. K. behind his name as well as the "O" without 
the "K." He endeavors to show the Negro with the power of 
intellect to manipulate anything he undertakes, and last of all 
to show the Negro with the D. D., LX. D., M. D., etc., behind 
his name instead of one "D" before it. 

To this end he has lost many a night's sleep trying to im- 
press on his people the importance of standing together. 

In conclusion he begs that you be admonished by the words 
of the preacher: Eccl. 4, 9-12. 

Feeling quite sure that if the oneness set forth in verses 
referred to are observed and obeyed thre will be a transforma- 
tion scene in the affairs of the Negro race, not only those in 
Birmingham, but those in Montgomery, Mobile, Atlanta and the 
utmost parts of the earth wherever the despised and rejected 
footprints of the Negro is seen. 

FINALLY. 

The author acknowledges that no Negro enterprises ap- 
pear in this edition except a few of those in the City of Bir- 
mingham, yet he begs you to consider what a task it would 
be to make a book to contain even one Negro industry in every 
city or every Negro industry in one large city. 

These names of industries are not named by any special 
choice, but they are carefully gathered from the humblest Negro 
enterprise to the man behind the counter. As an example. 
(John, 13th and part of the 15th verse). That all Negroes 
reading this edition may govern themselves accordingly. 
Respectfully submitted by 

MRS. BEN P. FOWLKES. 



146 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



NATIONAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY 

J. P. Lawrence, Local Secretary. 

I point pleasure and much propriety, 

To the National Benevolent Society — 
A wonderful establishment 

That pays for any accident, 
Pays for death and sickness too 

In a shorter time than others do. 
As soon as you put your money in 

Your memberships at once begin. 

This Society has stood the test, 

I'm glad to say she's one of the best; 
As a rule, for sickness seven days — 

This Society always pays 
Whatever amount is coming to you, 

And pays it very promptly, too. 
Two dollars is their entrance fee, 

And from other charges you are free, 
And after that I'm glad to say 

One dollar per month is all you pay. 



When you are sick they're known to pay 

A dollar for every single day, 
And more than that I will proclaim, 

They pay for Sunday just the same. 
Mr. J. P. Lawrence, the Secretary, 

Is a gentleman more than ordinary — 
A gentleman loved by one and all, 

Polite and courteous to every call. 

While they were on Avenue A 

Their business grew there day by day, 
Their business continuing to grom 

Till they've moved above the Little Book Store, 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



147 



At 116 South Twentieth Street; 

This Society is hard to beat. 
Go this way or go the other, 

Go to one place or /to another, 
Go any way you wish to go, 

You'll not find a better — this I know. 

While the panic is on, my dear frien' 

Is a good reason why you should begin 
By carrying a policy. Begin today 

And in the end 'twill surely pay; 
Do not say you are too poor 

To carry a policy — 'tis not so ; 
The few dollars which you dash away 

Will be your friend on. a rainy day. 

Come out, acknowledge you are wrong, 

And get into this Society, where you belong; 
You'll find you'll get your money's worth, 

Not after death, but while you're on earth. 
When you are sick or wounded either, 

They do not play 'bout with you. 
Neither are they always found 

With some old spy a-standing 'round. 

Trying to see if you are sick 

And trying to play some cunning trick 
On your wife or daughter or you 

To keep from paying what is due. 
So carry a little policy, friend, 

I know 'twill pay you in the end, 
And when your husband or daughter die 

You will not then be forced to cry 
Because you have no money in hand ; 

"It's strickly business, understand." 



148 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I point with pride and all propriety 

To the National Benevolent Society, 

You cannot do a better thing 

Than an application forth to bring; 

And to the messege take good heed, 

You'll find this firm a friend indeed. 



WELCOME ADDRESS 

To the Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias, August 2, 1908, 
Shiloh Baptist Church. 



(The first three stanzas were sung by the choir, amid great 
applause. Sung to the tune of "When the Mist is Rolled Away.") 



Now, unless I should forget it all, 

When my address is through, 
I've a simple little question 

That I want to ask of you. 
It arises from your brother 

In distress in F. C. B., 
It's a simple little favor, 

Will you do the thing for me? 

If my Welcome Address suits you, 

Not in part, but everyone, 
Will you tell the Grand Lodge of me 

When you go to Anniston? 
Will you do your duty bravely, 

Not a single item dodge, 
Will you tell the brothers of me 

At the coming next Grand Lodge ? 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



149 



If I fix you up real nicely 

And direct my words aright 
And expose a Royal Welcome 

As befits a Pythian Knight, 
Will you help me in my struggles, 

Not abroad, but here at home, 
That in all my undertakings 

I may safely overcome? 

"WE WILL!." 

It brings us honor to have you come 

And quite a deal of pleasure 
Bounding up within our hearts, 

Unmixed and without measure. 
'Tis our delight to let you know, 

Our doors we open wide, 
At any hour you wish to come — 

At morn or evening tide. 

We've left no stone unturned, friends, 

We've done what we could do, 
To impress you of the welcome 

That Shiloh has for you. 
We've decked our church in ferns and flowers, 

Arrayed in perfect view, 
These are the faintest symbols of 

The welcome waiting you. 

We've told our church to wear the best, 

Not one, but told them all, 
And hold themselves in readiness, 

We're going to have a call 
From the Uniform Ranks of Pythian Knights; 

These orders they've obeyed ; 
We guess you see its symbol 

From the way they are arrayed. 



150 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



The "merry widows/' the jumper suits, 

The Princess and Gibson waist, 
You know we must have honored you 

To put them second place — 
To have you come to our church 

Is a thing that we all treasure, 
To give you all the pleasant pews 

It is our greatest pleasure. 

We've given our choir strict orders — 

The orders they'll obey, 
They're going to prove it to you 

When the music starts to play, 
They're going to sing some solos 

And duets, we feel quite sure, 
Simply to impress you of 

The welcome waiting you. 

We've told our organist— the Music King — 

To do this thing up right, 
For it takes the best of music 

To befit a Pythian Knight. 
He told us he would do his best 

Our orders to obey; 
We'll let you judge the matter 

When the music starts to play. 

We've given you our entire church 

With every pleasant pew, 
The leading man in all the land 

To preach the sermon for you ; 
We've given you Doctor Walker — 

A man that's true and tried — 
And if he half way preach at all, 

You'll sure be satisfied. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



151 



Doctor Walker, we want you to preach today 

As you have in days of old- 
Preach that sermon that we all love — 

That stirs the inmost soul. 
Preach to them, Doctor Walker, 

The words so firm and true, 
That makes the trembling sinner cry : 

"Oh, men! what shall I do?" 

They tell us, Doctor Walker, 

That in their midst are men 
Who walk not in the narrow path, 

But in the paths of sin. 
Do tell them, Doctor Walker, 

That Christ was crucified, 

And for their full salvation 

On Calvary's Cross He died. 
i 

O ! tell them of the land of bliss, 

Where saints immortal dwell, 
And don't forget to warn them 

Against the woes of hell. 
Tell them there's one straight gate, 

They should strive to enter in; 
It's a fearful harvest one must reap 

Whose fields are sown with sin. 

Sir Knights, we welcome you today 

As we did in days of yore, 
We know your aim and object too, 

We've heard of you before. 
We were very much impressed with you 

As you came down the street, 
We like the way you hold your heads — 

The movement of your feet. 



152 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



We like your shining armor 

And the headgear that you wear, 
But we want to ask a question, 

And we want you to declare. 
Mr. Stewart, they inform us, 

You're the leader of this band, 
There's something real mysterious 

That we want to understand. 

Brigadier-General, while you teach them 

All the tactics known to war, 
Do you teach them anything at all 

About God's Holy Law? 
Before you mustered out your men 

To form this Grand Parade 
Did you ask them all to bow their heads 

While an humble servant prayed? 

Did you tell them softly, 

Like the gentle zephyr's blow, 
That there's someone in their number'll 

Never come here any more? 
Did you tell them in their quiet march, 

Before this place you reached, 
That some would never hear again 

An annual sermon preached? 

We welcome you into our church, 

To every pleasant pew, 
Plenty ice water to quench your thirst 

And all our sisters too. 
All are freely given 

That you have a pleasant stay, 
But we beg to notify you 

That you cannot take 'em 'way. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



153 



But we have a lot of brothers 

That we cannot understand, 
We'd be glad for you to take 'em 

And enroll them in your band. 
Boys, young men and fathers too 

Make up our brotherhood, 
You would please us if you take 'eni, 

To the church they are no good. 

We'd be glad for you to take 'em 

And enroll 'em in your ban', 
Oh ! tell 'em three times seven 

Does not constitute a man. 
Now, a word more 'bout the sisters — 

We would have you understand 
That we never will allow you 

To enroll them in your band. 

We have chosen our little poet 

To open wide the door, 
To tell you, you are welcome 

To the portals of Shiloh. 
We told him to break the record 

In this address to you, 
And we'll let you judge the matter 

When the little fellow's through. 

Uniform Rank of Knights of Pythias, 

We have left no stone unturned, 
And the honors we bestow on you 

We think you've justly earned. 
We beg, sirs, to inform you 

There's no place that you can go 
To find a brighter welcome 

Than awaits you at Shiloh. 



154 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Now, a few words in conclusion — 

We now give the entire sum — 
Whenever you want your sermon preached 

To Shiloh you can come. 
You do not have to seek a place, 

As you have done before, 
But simply say within yourselves 

"To Shiloh we will go." 

Oh come, and tell your friends to come, 

We want your friends to know 
That they get a royal welcome 

When to Shiloh Church they go. 
Some of you we'll meet no more 

On this terrestial ball, 
Some of you will fall a victim 

And some will answer to that call — 

That bids the weary wanderer cease 

^ His sorrows joy or mirth, 
And go the way your father's gone — 

The way of all the earth. 
1st Kings, 1-2. 

Will you pledge us, Knights of Pythias 

That you will do your best, 
That in winding up your mission here 
To enter into rest? 

Will you gather 'round that great white throne 

In that triumphant hall, 
Where we'll all join in the chorus, 

As we crown Him Lord of ALL ! 



THE SO-CALLED, NEGRO PROBLEM 



155 



AutobiograpHy and Statement of Author 

A history of his life? No. There is nothing in its history 
that he considers worthy of mentioning, or at least nothing 
which he considers will be helpful to the race. 

He hopes, however, through the pages of this book that he 
may be able to reach some untraversed Sahara in the mind of 
his people, to reach some field that has been lying fallow for 
the last four decades. 

He hopes at least to start a campaign among his people, not 
by carnal weapon of war nor by cohort defending, but by com- 
mon-sense methods and mutual blending among his people. In 
order that he may be more clearly seen, he wishes to state a few 
facts and press a few claims relative to himself — pro and con. 

He, like other men, has faults, and under no circumstances 
does he claim perfection. 

As a Christian he has no special claims to make. He does 
not claim a servant's place beside the rich young man who had 
kept all the laws. 

He feels weighed in the balances and found wanting to 
such an extent that he is ashamed to go to Christ and say "/ do 
so and so. What lack I yet?" He has a knowledge and a con- 
science which speak to him in an audible voice, "You're weighed 
and wanting." 

However, there are some Christian traits about himself 
which he deems necessary that you should know — 

ist. On Wednesday evening, March 20, 1895, in the city 
of Louisville, Ky., there he knelt at the Cross and first saw the 
light. 

2nd. It was from this great city that he first took up his 
pen and sent a burning, brilliant message to Birmingham to his 



156 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



dear old mother, saying, "The lost is found, the blind has sight; 
my iniquities are casted as into the sea of forgetfulness." 

3rd. He does not claim to have led a perfect life spiritu- 
ally, neither morally, but he does claim that from the date of 
his conversion under this day — July 16, 1908, no man has any 
just charge against him as contrary to the common principles of 
religion. 

4th. From the moral side he claims not perfection along 
this line, but he asserts fearlessly that while in the exclusive com- 
pany of gentlemen, he never uses any language that he would 
not use in the presence of the most refined ladies. 

5th. He claims and asserts with all impunity that sum- 
mer's fervent heat and winter's chilling blast have never hindered 
him from entering into the House of Worship a single Sunday 
since his conversion. 

6th. He does assert that his life as a Christian inspired a 
large church in Birmingham, known as Shiloh, to elect his first 
as Superintendent of their Sunday School and second as clerk 
for them, which offices they claim have been filled satisfactorily. 
And in regard to the Sunday School, since his election in 1898, 
has not been absent from that service one-half Sunday to the 
year. 

In 1896 he was quietly married to one (Alice), with whom 
he has lived happily ever since. He claims that with her as the 
pilot that goes before and the pivot around which he revolves, 
he feels that he has been greatly assisted by her earnest, ardent 
efforts. 

7th. He does not claim to be an educated man, but pleads 
guilty to such educational advantages as rural district schools 
afford. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



157 



8th. But he does claim to be a true specimen of the Negro 
race and he challenges the world to dispute it. (See cut). 

He asserts that there is no grade of work as common labor 
that he has not been engaged in. From the circling vollies of 
smoke from the coke oven and the deafening belch of the blast 
furnace, from the upheaval of earth by the plow, to the driving 
of carts and wagons and porter in stores — all these he claims 
to have done. 

While engaged in these transactions he has seen the treach- 
erous, diabolical deeds transacted against his race without a 
cause. He has seen the men of his race knocked around and 
kicked around and otherwise maltreated 1 to the extent that the 
most skilfull artist cannot depict it, neither can language, pen 
or poet describe it. 

9th. He claims to be a man who loves his race and that 
there is not one in the entire race any more desirous to see the 
negro rise up that himself. If you would know more of the 
hardships which the Negro undergoes than are recorded in this 
volume, the author most heartily insists that you purchase a 
copy of "The Hindered Hand," by the orator and Christian gen- 
tleman in the person of Dr. Sutton E. Griggs. If that book does 
not cause the hair to stand on end, you certainly must be bald 
or wear a wig at least. 

With all these things revolving in his mind, he hopes to 
start a co-operative ball a-rolling among his people whereby they 
might be led in a pleasant way to unite their financial forces 
and build buildings of honor as well as huts; that they might 
through this method build wholesome stores as well as soft drink 
stands. 

It is his whole aim and prayer that the Negro heed the 
appeals for oneness as set forth by prose and poetry in this 



158 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



edition. It is said through the pages of history that the American 
Indian as he was, perhaps, 400 years ago, so he is today. He 
made no advancement, he built no school houses, no churches, 
he tilled no soil, had a very poor conception of Heaven as a 
hunting resort. The unanimous decision was that this was a bad 
and unsafe character to be among industrious people, hence he 
was persecuted and driven back. 

We all in a measure agree with that and perhaps decide that 
such actions were justifiable. 

But where is the justice in the persecution of the Negro? 
Here he is building schools, building churches, not only tilling, 
but buying the soil, doing more manual labor than any nation 
under the open canopy of Heaven, having a higher conception 
of the true religion of the Lord Jesus than any other notion. 
Why hinder his hand? Why cast him out? "Treacherous, dia- 
bolical, infernal !" 



AUTOGRAPHS 

If the Negroes get and live a religious life and educate there 
will be no Race Problem. 

I see great hope in the future. Every industrial enterprise 
is open to him as never before. The only thing that he lacks 
is preparation and qualification, for if he fails to prepare and 
qualify himself when these gates are opened, he will not be able 
to enter in; if not qualified, he will never be able to enter them. 
— Dr. Edmondson, Pastor Payne Chapel, A. M. E. Church, Bir- 
mingham, Ala. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



159 



I believe if the Negro will get religion, serve God, save his 
money, invest it in property, etc., there'll be no Problem. — Rev. 
William Winter, Pastor Bethel Baptist Church. 

This book, entitled "Co-operation the Solution of the Negro 
Problem," is a choice piece of literature. It sets forth some 
of the successful business men of the race in clear, poetical 
language. Read and act and there will be no Problem. — W. C. 
Owens, Pastor Sardis Baptist Church. 

I have taken a "bird's-eye-view" of "The Solution of the 
Negro Problem," by Mr. Benjamin Fowlkes. It is a great sub- 
ject handled in a masterly manner. Read and be convinced. — 
Bernard W. Tyrrell, Supt. Negro Reformatory, Turkey Creek, 
Mt. Pinson, Ala. April 9, 1908. 

Time well spent, with a pure heart and a clear conscience will 
solve the problem of any people. — Rev. J. B. Bowden, Pastor 
New Bethel Baptist Church, Bessemer, Ala. 

I think it was Caesar that said at one time : "I came, I saw, 
I conquered." We can now say that the author of this book 
has conquered the solution of the so-called Negro Problem. — 
Rev. J. L. Dillard. 

This little book contains the real solution of the so-called 
Negro Problem — concise, business, plain, humorous. — Rev. J. S. 
Jackson, D. D., Pastor A. M. E. Zion Church, Birmingham, Ala. 

I know of no other means by which the so-called Problem 
can be solved if they are not embodied in this little book. This 



160 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



book should meet the approval of everyone perusing its pages. It 
should be in every Negro home in Birmingham, Jefferson County, 
Alabama or the United States.— Dr. T. W. Walker, D. D., Pastor 
Shiloh Baptist Church. 

By co-operation the world has been brought into one neigh- 
borhood, and when the Negro has learned this secret which has 
laid the cornerstone of every great enterprise, then there will be 
but one brotherhood. — Rev. G. F. Welch, D. D., Presiding Elder 
Fayette District. 

Co-operation will solve the so-called Negro Problem.— J. M. 
King, Vice-President Union Central Relief Association, Birming- 
ham Ala, 

Co-operation, the lesson taught by the author, will solve the 
great so-called Problem, if studied carefully by our race. Every 
home should have a copy of this book. — Prof. S. W. Wiggins, 
President People's Guarantee Loan and Trust Company. 

This book, "Negro Problem," is the greatest and liveliest 
edition I have ever seen. If we as Negroes expect to solve it, 
we must buy the book and obey the book. If we do this, there'll 
be no Negro Problem. — Rev. W. H. Wales. 

We must survive or perish by our own efforts. No race of 
people has ever been called upon to undergo harder difficulties 
than ours. But co-operation will solve the so-called Problem 
in the long run. — Prof. W. J. Echols, Principal Slater School. 

The most unique, transparent lenses through which the 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



161 



world can see the Negro that I have ever seen. Prices cannot 
bar me from the purchase of at least two copies. — Rev. A. 
Massey. 

A voluntary co-operation is better than an involuntary one. 
We must choose the former or the indications are that we will be 
forced into the latter. — P. M. Edwards, Proprietor Washington 
Hotel and Mitchell Cafe, Birmingham, Ala. 

Let the Negro alone and give him, an equal chance in life 
and the Problem will solve itself. As to the Negro in business, 
all race-loving Negroes will do all in their power to put the 
business men among us where other races have gone. Let us 
boost our business men as they go up. The Negro Problem will 
then vanish into the sea of forgetfulness. — Rev. Ira McKinney, 
Proprietor McKinney Bros. Barber Shop. 

Education, Christian and religious development, moral stam- 
ina, mechanical, governmental business in the various avenues, 
confidence in each other, more individual sacrifice for just and 
right causes, a closer unity between father, son, mother, daughter, 
a zealous care of the virtue of our girls, all added together, make 
up a large part of the sum total of the salvation of our race and 
a solution of the so-called Negro Problem. — L. H. Harrison, 
Editor Birmingham Blade. 

I have read with increased interest your work on this sub- 
ject and I take this method of freely expressing an opinion on 
your work: 

The book you are preparing will do much good in helping 
to solve the much perplexed S. C. Problem. The plan to have 



162 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



the Negroes co-operate is very essential to the race's success 
in conflict with other races. The theme of your book should be 
on the tongue of every Negro, for after all we must learn to 
help each other in business. We should preach this doctrine in 
every pulpit, in the columns of all our newspapers, on every 
platform, in every stump speech, the watchword being "Help 
the Negro in business." Your book will help those now living 
and guide and inspire those yet unborn. I bid you God speed 
in the good work you are doing. — Rev. C. M. Wells, D. D., Man- 
ager Baptist Leader. 

I feel honored in being asked to write upon this subject. 
It is a subject or question that pervades the entire country, one 
in which all are involved, and yet I say there is no Negro Problem. 
However, co-operation will solve the thing. — Rev. H. S. Thomp- 
son, D. D., Pastor East Lake Baptist Church. 

Let the preacher sound the alarm: "Save money, sustain 
banks, buy stocks, sustain Negro enterprises such as banks, gro- 
cery stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, lumber yards, brick yards, 
etc. Let the teacher teach economy as well as science, and in 
this way she will be able to assist in the solution of the so-called 
Negro Problem." — Rev. A. J. Gordan. 

An elimination of envy, hatred and malevolent ideas from 
the hearts and minds of the people of our race, with a decision 
to patronize Negro enterprizes, will go far toward helping to solve 
the so-called Negro Problem. This Problem must be solved 
by the Negro race that is involved. It can't be done by other ex- 
pectation, but only by co-operation —Edward Cunningham of 
Tuskeegee Institute. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



163 



It is true that love for God and man will solve and problem, 
but since it seems that this love cannot get a universal sway 
with this entire nation. Co-operation as set forth by this book 
has struck the keynote to the solution of the so-called Negro 
Problem. — W. L. Lauderdale, D. D., Founder and Manager 
People's Investment and Banking Company. 

Things are not always what they seem. The author of 
this great volume, "Negro Problem," Mr. Ben P. Fowlkes, was 
born in Marion, Ala., thirty-eight years ago. A casual look 
would set him forth as an ordinary man, but an investigative 
insight would reveal a man most powerful — surprising, most 
amazingly even his nearest neighbors. 

This volume, the product of his brain and pen, should be 
in the hand of every Negro in the land, not for a thing of beauty, 
but a book of study, the contents of which if learned and followed 
will prove the doctrine of our redemption as a race. — Rev. E. M. 
Clarke, D. D. 

When you join Negro insurance companies, trade at Negro 
stores, buy Negro books, employ Negro doctors, you will help 
to build up the race. 

"A Negro picture on a Negro's wall 
Is best for the Negro's home after all." 

— Rev. R. N. Hall, Pastor Friendship Baptist Church, Gadsden, 
Ala.; Moderator Will's Creek Association. 



164 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



The Election of Grand Lodge Officers 

n of p. 

Anniston, Ala., August 13, 1908. 

The 'lection hour came at last 

Bounding on apace, 
Five hundred souls a-wondering 

"Who will win the race." 
Indeed it was a mighty throng 

Who chanced to congregate — 
They came from north, east, south and west 

Throughout the entire State. 

The gavel rapped, the Chairman cried: 

"Order in the hall !" 
The buzzing throng struck silence 

To hear the grand roll call, 
Once more the gavel rapped aloud, 

The Chairman raised his voice, 
"The 'lection of officers now is on, 

Nominate your choice !" 

At this point, Dr. Mixon, 

The Selma Giant, arose, 
Amid great cheers and tumults 

This eulogy did impose: 
"Gentlemen of the Convention, 

I wish to bring to the front 
A man to lead this army — 

And that is R. A. Blount ; 

"He has lead this Pythian army 

Successfully in the past, 
We are all going to stand by him, 

Even to the last. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



165 



Gentlemen of the Convention/' 
He loudly raised his voice, 

"I want you all to understand 

That R. A. Blount's my choice." 

He named in past what Blount has done 

For this grand Pythian cause, 
He seemed to strike the keynote 

And was drowned out by applause. 
The speaker appealed unto the house 

On seeing the situation — 
"I move you we suspend the rule 

And 'lect by acclamation." 

It seemed as if some tumult 

Made a visit from the sky, 

Five hundred voices silence broke 
And answered "I" "I" "I" ! 

Amid great cheers and great applause 
We without hesitation 

Re-elected R. A. Blount, 
. And this by acclamation. 

This was a record broken 

In the rank of Pythian Knights, 
We delighted to support the man 

Who contends for our rights. 

VICE CHANCELLOR. 

Two men contending for this place, 
The rule we couldn't suspend, 

For others in this mighty throng 
Also had a friend 



166 



CO OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Whom they would put in the race 

To win, or let him try — 
They wanted him to also have 

A finger in the "Pie." 

Croshon and Goin were the two 

Aspirants for this place, 
And each one gave the other one 

A long and tiresome race. 
Mr. Croshon long had held this place, 

His duty faithful done, 
To him we lay no unjust claims — 

No charges ; no, not one. 

But Goin, of Tuscaloosa, 

Being a faithful Pythian Knight — 
To put him in the chair one time 

We thought we had a right. 
Sir Darby nominated him 

And with the greatest grace, 
We were not surprised at all 

When Goin won the race. 

GRAND PRELATE. 

Sir I. H. Belser, true and tried, 

Who long has held the place, 
He had no opposition, 

And of course he won the race. 
Sir Brazier, G. K. of R. and Seals, 

Re-elected to this station, 
Bob Taylor, Master of Exchequer, too, 

Went through by acclamation. 

Sir John Reed, G. Master-at-Arms, 
J. A. Lafayette, Grand Lecturer, 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



167 



Dr. D. H. C. Scott, of Montgomery, 
For Grand Medical Register. 

The spirit of the house, it seemed, 

That these should fill their station, 

And thereupon we 'lected these 
Three men by acclamation. 

GRAND INNER GUARD. 

We had dissentions in the case, 

. To this two men aspired, 
This seemed to be the coveted place 

Which these two men desired, 
But S. L. Watley led the fight, 

"No more than we expected," 
And when the final vote was cast 

Sir Watley was elected. 

GRAND OUTER GUARD. 

Sir F. E. Boss, a faithful Knight, 

Received for his reward 
A unanimous re-election 

To that of Outer Guard. 

GRAND MARSHAL. 

Sir P. R. Murry, Grand Marshal, 
Was rewarded with the same; 

"Elect by acclamation !" 

All voices did proclaim. 

GRAND ATTORNEY. 

In searching o'er the Roster 

No better could be foun' 
To place in this position 

Than the Honorable E. A. Brown; 



168 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Indeed he made a smooth report 

As to how he'd filled his station, 

The entire house with one accord 
Said 'lect by acclamation. 

ENDOWMENT SECRETARY. 

It requires a man that's up to time, 

One more than ordinary, 
To hold this high position 

Of Endowment Secretary. 
The Grand Lodge was not blind to this 

I'm glad to let you know 
That we promptly re-elected 

The Honorable M. J. Moore. 

There was no opposition 

As anybody knows ; 
We 'lected by acclamation — 

Every voice arose. 

ENDOWMENT TREASURER. 

The next great race that came to view, 

It is my great pleasure 
To tell you quite a battle waged 

For that of Endowment Treasurer. 
Tinker and Mason seemed to be 

Aspirants for this place. 
Of all the incidents above 

This was the hardest race. 

Sir Tinker, who, for fourteen years, 
Had firmly stood the test, 

To elect our friend just once again 
We tried our level best; 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



169 



There was no charge to lay on him, 
His books were found all right, 

Although he went down in defeat — 
But loved by every Knight. 

Sir Mason's votes when counted 

Was found one hundred and nine, 
Sir Tinker's votes one hundred and one — 

(Just eight votes behind.) 
But swiftest horse (so it is said), 

A race that ever run, 
You'll some day find him slower 

Than you'll find some other one. 

So it was with Tinker, 

In this race he could not win, 
His followers could not stand the blow 

From U. G. Mason's men. 
So Mason being the victor, 

It is my greatest pleasure 
To let you know we 'lected him 

For our Endowment Treasurer. 

ENDOWMENT BOARD. 

Six stalwart men were all thrown in 

To occupy this place, 
It reminds me of a derby, 

Or at least a hurdle race: 
Johnson, Newstell, W. W. Green 

And likewise I. B. Kigh, 
J. E. Kelly and Hudson too, 

They thought their luck they'd try. 

Some received about twelve votes 
And some one hundred high ; 



170 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OP 



The one receiving the highest vote 
Was the Honorable I. B. Kigh. 

Johnson and Newstell, two more men 
Who made it o'er the plate, 

But the other three horses all 
Were pounded out of date. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS. 

Another eight-side battle's on — 

Eight horses in the race, 
But only three could elected be, 

Still these eight sought the place: 
Edward, Butler, Cary too, 

King, Awls and Mr. Johnson; 
Julian, likewise Phillips too, 

And also C. C. Caperton. 

Some of these received four votes, 

If no mistake, some none ; 
This really was the sorriest race 

In a Grand Lodge ever run. 
Julian, Awls and Butler made 

A creditable race, 
But all the other fellows fell 

A martyr to disgrace. 

SUPREME REP. 

Here comes another spirited race, 

Another four-sided game, 
Now, give me your attention, please, 

While these four men I'll name: 
There was W. E. Tinker, the man we love, 

And the meek little Jimmie Sampson, 
Brazier, G. K. of Records and Seals, 

And the Honorable T. S. Sanson. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



171 



This was the smoothest contest 

In the entrance race, no doubt, 
But little Jimmie Sampson 

Was the first one got knocked out. 
Tinker's plurality mounted up, 

I've forgotton just how high, 
But Brazier and Sanson eighty each, 

Of course this was a tie. 

So Brazier and Sanson had to run 

Their sad race over again, 
But my friend Brazier could not stand 

The welt from Sanson's men. 
So Tinker and Sanson won the race, 

This I'm glad to tell, 
You ought to've heard the tumult, 

You ought to've heard the yell. 

Gal THREE — Negro Problem — City Paper Co. estaoinm 
I'm sorry for Brazier and Sampson, 

They wanted to go — 'tis sad — 
But Sanson and Tinker (those cruel men), 

They put them to the bad. 
The 'Lection now is over, 

This one thing brings me joy — 
Our next Grand Session (1909) will be held 

In the little city of Troy. 

We tried to fetch her to Birmingham 

The next Convention year, 
But the "niggers" hollowed Troy so loud 

Birmingham we could not hear. 
Mr. P. M. Edwards to bring her here 

He did not fail to try, 
He exerted every energy and nerve, 

And likewise so did I. 



172 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



But they set us 'way back in the shade, 

We were Mama's little boy, 
We cried aloud for Birmingham ! 

But all the folks cried "Troy!" 

"FROWNS." 
I know some things that are found herein 

Doubtless pleases you, 
Now, if you like to please me some 

This one thing please, sir, do, 
If you desire a copy of this 

I'm glad to let you know 
You'll only have to send one dime 

To the Novelty— Little Book Book Store. 



WELCOME ADDRESS 



By the Author. 
To the K. of L. of Honor of America at Shiloh Baptist 
church, Sunday, April 26, 1908. 

Master of Ceremonies, Grand Dictator, Worthy Protector, Of- 
ficers and Members of This Grand Order, Ladies, Gentle- 
men and Friends: 

I feel highly honored to have the honor of addressing this 
honorable body, known as the Knights of Honor, on this hon- 
orable occasion. In accepting these honors in addressing this 
honorable body known as the Knights of Honor. 

I hope I may be able to honor and not dishonor them, 
and to honor and not dishonor the Shiloh Baptist church (of 
which I am a member) in my deliberations. I am persuaded 
that no great array of words are necessary to convince you 
of the welcome that awaits you. As you marched into this, our 
ediffice, and saw the elaborate display of flowers, ferns, etc. ; 
the many vacant pews, the multitude at the door, not even al- 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



173 



lowed to proceed in before you, and the real church members 
sistting (as it were) upon the shelf (balcony), and an open 
door for you ; these speak for us in firmer tones than we. 
You are welcome. I am glad to say that the Gibraltar of 
the age, in the person of Dr. T. W. Walker, whose 
penetrating eye can see farther in the future than I can in 
the past. Some ten years ago I heard him counting up the 
cost, as recorded in Luke 9-33, saying within himself : : We will 
build one tabernacle large enough for the Saints, large enough 
for the K. of K., and large enough for the sinner 

He is to be commended more than the Apostle Peter, be- 
cause, by searching the above reference closely you will find 
first, that Peter had just ended a nap of sleed; second, he 
only offered to build, but failed, and third, he offered to build 
after the guests were gone. 

I mean by this to show that long before this day ever 
dawned preparations were made for you, .and as you walked 
into our doors today I felt that you took due note that they 
were thrown open 180 degrees. 

Yet, I beg to assure you that these gigantic doors standing 
ajar to the extent mentioned, is only a faint symbol of the 
welcome that awaits in the hearts of the people of Shiloh. 

We've cammanded our organist his best to play 

And make this occasion a joyful day; 
We've told our choir that they must sing 

Like a beautiful mocking bird in spring; 
We've told our church to wear their best; 

We're going to entertain a royal guest, 
And take their seats back in the corner 

And give first place to the Knights of Honor. 

For on this 26th day of April we would be highly honored 
by a visit from that higher society known as the Knights and 
Ladies of Honor . 

Ir 



174 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



I beg to state to the ladies who follow under this great 
banner I do not know exactly what part the ladies of this 
church take in welcoming you, for all the week they have 
been rejoicing and longing and yearning for the hour to come 
when they could meet the Knights, but I have not heard them 
say a word about the ladies. 

Less you become despondent, I beg to assure you that we 
have 200 widowers, orphans and mashers, who are perfectlv 
willing, waiting and ready to draw you nearer and into a closer 
embrace and welcome you 'til the evening. 

And likewise to the gentlemen or knights, I trust that I 
may be able to make you feel welcome, but I am sorry to 
say that the brothers of this church have made no preparations 
for you, whatever. They are highly insulted because you in- 
formed them that you were not going to let these sisters come 
here by themselves. I am somewhat displeased myself, but I 
must acknowledge that you knew where you were at for not 
so doing. 

Less you feel slighted, I beg to assure you that we have 
a vast host of widows, indeed, grass widows, maids by choice, 
and those who had no choice. All of whom are ready, in case I 
fail, to take the stand and welcome you. 

Knights and Ladies of Honor, as a whole, I beg to as- 
sure you that the Shiloh Baptist church, as a whole, extends 
to you a cordial welcome. 

You come to us not as foreigners or a new agency, But 
your works — To build up true manhood, to instill virtue, 
chastity and godliness in the minds of mankind, are very well 
known and we, to do otherwise than welcome you, bring great 
dishonor to ourelves. 

We feel very sadly disappointed in trying to find words to 
welcome you. We call your attention the second time to the 
preparations made; by the ornamental designs, such as flowers, 
ferns, expansion in the midst, etc., which speak more loudly 
and more audibly, and more graphically than can be depicted by 
poet, pen, or orator, in expressing to you a welcome. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



175 



Knights and Ladies we trust that by the foregoing you have 
been made to feel perfectly welcome. We trust that in your 
mind, if any thought has been untouched, you will take our 
deep meaning and 'credit that also to the deliberation of him, 
who (though weak), has been thus appointed to address you. 

Now, much honored guests, we have endeavored to show 
the great care and interest that we have for your physical 
comfort, but can not as a church feel to have discharged our 
full duty if we did not admonish you in regard to life be- 
yond the grave, and especially since we have learned that some 
of your number do not know the love of a blessed Savior and 
the suffering whereunto He went to ransom their souls from woe. 

Behold ! the Savior suffered 

On the cross for you and me, 
Took our infirmities on himself 

That ransomed we might be; 
Not only from the woes of earth, 

The globe on which we dwell, 
But from the greedy jaws of death, 

The grave, the raging hell. 

So if you hear the Savior's voice, 

Oh, come without delay; 
Tomorrow is not promised us — 

We only live today; 
It's once appointed unto man — says Job, 

That we must die; 
The time and place ye can not tell, 
Though earnestly you try. 

We do not mean to chide you, 

Just because you've joined the lodge, 
But we wish to notify you 

That you have another charge, 



176 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



That reaches, onward, upward, 

Higher than the grip and sign 
Or anything the earth can give — 
You'll please bear this in mind. 



Copyright April 20, ltf08. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



177 



MEAT MARKET, Laws &t Cary 

M — stands for market — there's Cary & Laws, 

I love to speak it, all because 
They keep their place so clean and neat 

At 512 South Twentieth Street. 
I went up there the other day, 

Got captivated right away 
At things I saw in these men's place — 

(This firm adds credit to the Negro race.) 

They carry nice roasts, sausage and ham, 

Pork and veal and the little lamb, 
Neck bones, spare rib, backbone, too, 

(You know that makes a mighty stew.) 
They carry butter, bacon and eggs, 

And all their chickens have yellow legs, 
Cured meats too — if I'm not mistaken 

They carry Swift's Best Breakfast Bacon. 

Vegetables of every kind 

In this market you will find, 
Onions, radishes and many a beet; 

Oh, they lead the town on nice, fresh meat. 
So anything along this line 

You'll find their stock exceeding fine, 
Their place is kept so clean and neat 

And they know their biz at cutting meat. 

Here is my advice to you — 

Co-operation will pull them through, 
And gradually these men would rise 

To the City Market House in size. 
If you trade with Cary & Laws 

'Twould help you out, and all because 



178 



CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



They'd have to move into larger quarters 

And give more work to our sons and daughters. 

Take my advice — do hasten and try it, 
It's a certain fact, you can't deny it, 

The beauty of Co-operation 

Would raise them to a higher station. 

Now my advice to you — (I'm a Nigger), 

Don't spend all your time asleep — but figger. 

While you are sleeping in your bed, 

Covered up both feet and head, 
Weather — raining ; you — a-snoring, 

The other fellow up and going. 
When you awake, to your surprise, 

He's got the blinds before your eyes, 
Halter thrown upon your head — 

(Take my advice — be profited.) 

I truly have my race at heart, 

I hate to see them stand apart. 
If through the pages of this book, 

I — in their minds can lodge a hook, 
And get them all to stand together, 

With no regard to wind and weather, 
Many a Nigger man will rise 

To master his own enterprise. 
If you will trade with Cary & Laws 

'Twill help you out, and all because 
You brought your trade unto a Nigger, 

Which helped to build a market bigger. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



179 



MABRY BROS., Tailors 

T — stands for Tailors, please give your attention, 

For Tailors indeed I'm now 'bout to mention; 
A firm that's known to lead all others, 

And better known as Mabry Brothers. 
They're centrally located in this town, 

At 306 they will be found; 
To make their address more complete 

You'll simply say North Eighteenth Street. 

When you have spied this little store 

You'll find linoleum on the floor, 
Nice show cases are found there 

Filled with goods and not with air.* 
They lead the town on silk cravats, 

They carry Stetson derby hats, 
Collars, shirts and cuffs are there, 

And first-class gentlemen's underwear. 

Great stacks of suitings are found there 

As good as -any anywhere, 
No matter where you chance to go 

To find a better — I answer no. 
When you see a man coming down the street 

With a beautiful suit that fits so neat, 
With a different look from all the others — 

His suit was made by Mabry Brothers. 
They know their business at making clothes, 

They're finished Tailors, everyone knows ; 
So my advise would be to stop 

And go no further than Mabry's shop. 

To have a suit or nice shirt made, 
Selected from their higher grade, 



180 CO-OPERATION THE SOLUTION OF 



Or overcoat or umbrellas, 

Mabry Brothers are the fellows. 
Indeed ,twould be a creditable thing 

If you to Mabry Brothers would bring 
All your shirts and clothing orders 

They'd have to move into larger quarters. 

A sower went forth one time to sow 

But some seeds fell where they could not grow 
And some fell in good soil, I'm told, 

And some brought forth a hundred fold. (Mathew 3 and 8.) 
Now, friends, you see I'm sowing the seed, 

Oh, unto the message please take heed! 
If you wish to see your brothers rise 

You must sustain their enterprise. 

Mabry Brothers' prices are fair, 

Let us concentrate our forces there, 
And for our race we'll do our best 

And leave it with God to do the rest. 
I wish to say this to the reader — 

We can make this tailor shop a leader; 
I think 'twould swell their realization 

In size to the Globe Association. 

Oh ! heed the message warm and true, 

It's the only way we'll ever get through; 
There are other methods (They reach the classes), 

My message is aimed to reach the masses 
And uniformly raise the race 

That the humble Negro may have a place 
From which he may be looked upon 

In another way besides to scorn. 



THE SO-CALLED NEGRO PROBLEM 



181 



Colored man, I appeal to you, 

Build up your race whatever you do, 
Heed the message that others may 

See the Nigger in another way. 



SPECIAL NOTICE. 

Pages 144 and 145, "See, Oh, See the Negro!" is a mere 
exclamation. It is part of "Autobiography and Statement of 
Author/' on page 155. The said two pages should follow the 
word "infernal" on page 158. 

This error in arrangement was made by misarranging manu- 
script. "I did not make the mistake." 

See Introduction, page VII, 12th line from top. 



INDEX 



Address Welcome— K. of H 172 

Address Welcome — K. of P. 122 

Address Uniform Rank — K. of P 148 

Alabama Penny Saving & Loan Co.. . . 25 

Artist— D. J. McCaw __ 14 

Art Studio— A. M. DeYampert .111 

Association — Boys Reformatory 61 

Association — Union Central Relief - 11 

Autographs 158 

Autobiography . , 155 

Banking Co. Peoples Investment & .- 129 

Barbers— Diffay Bros 32 

Barbers— Big Four 139 

Beneficiaries — Tri-State Order of 133 

Blacksmith— M. W. Williams ... - 30 

Blount R. A.— G. C 59 

Bottling Co.— Campbell 39 

Bottling Co.— Eagle 113 

Cafe — Keystone 15 

Cafe— Mitchell's 21 

Carpets and Rugs — Beverly Dupree 54 

Coal — Windham Bros. .... 47 

Confectionery — Joe Brown 55 

Dentist — Eugene Jones 76 

Doctors — Generally 41 

Doctor— U. G. Mason 91 

Drug Co. — Peoples 17 

Drug Co. — Union 116 

Election— Grand Lodge, K. of P. 164 

Electrical Co. — Foster and Thompson 93 

Gent Furnishings — Bond and Co * 28 

Grocery Co. — Enon Ridge 98 

Grocery Co. — Harris Bros 85 

Grocery Co. — Peoples 109 

Hotel — New Washington > 87 

Ice Cream Parlor — Gilmore & Dinkins 35 

Ice Cream Parlor — Johns Place 106 



Lawyer — E. A Brown r 95 

Meat Market — Laws & Gary 177 

Merchant Tailors — Mabry Bros. 179 

Mason, Briek — A. H. Williams . . 37 

News Stand — Jno. M. Coar_ 82 

News Paper--Birmingham Reporter ; 74 

Novelty Book Concern 9 

News Paper — Bessemer Tribune 126 

Paper Hanger— W. L. McLinney 50 

Peoples Guarantee Loan & Trust Co. 20 

Pharmacy — West Highlands . 57 

Plasterer, Contracting — C. H. Fowlkes 46 

Plumbing Co. — Daniels 89 

Plumbing Co. — Strickland and Decatur 141 

Printing Co.— Eureka 69 

Restaurant — Phillips 22 

Saw Works— Ala 72 

School— Withers Normal 78 

Shoe Man— C. C. Cox 96 

Shoe Co.— The Majestic 136 

Society — National Benevolent 146 

That Day 66 

Transfer Co. — Garner 24 

Tuggle Mrs. Carrie A __100 

Undertakers — Bradford & Co 31 

Undertakers — Echols & Strong 52 

Undertakers — Davenport & Harris 1194 

Watchmaker — Jno. A. Griffin 10 

Wagons, Picnic — Ed. Cummings 44